Microsoft announces Visual Studio 2022, now in a 64-bit flavor

Visual Studio logo on a light background with purple stripes underneath

Today, Microsoft announced Visual Studio 2022 along with its first public preview coming this summer. The next major release of Microsoft's flagship development toolkit will be "faster, more approachable, and more lightweight", according to Amanda Silver, who made the announcement on Microsoft's DevBlogs.

One of the big news with Visual Studio 2022 is going to be the transition to a 64-bit app. Indeed, Microsoft has been making a push towards 64-bit across the board, and now Visual Studio is joining the fray. A major advantage of 64-bit apps is that they're not limited to 4GB of memory, so this new release will have unrestricted access to all the memory on your PC. That should result in much better performance across the board and fewer out-of-memory errors.

Loading a solution in Visual Studio 2022 running in 64-bit and using over 4GB of memory

The new version of Visual Studio will also come with updated icons that should be easier to identify and understand at a glance, support for the new Cascadia Code font that Microsoft introduced with Windows Terminal, new product themes, and integration with Accessibility Insights to help developers spot any accessibility barriers quicker. Microsoft is also making it easier to customize your experience with Visual Studio, with settings for the IDE and the ability to sync (or not) settings across devices.

Comparison between the icons in Visual Studio 2019 and Visual Studio 2022 in light and dark modes

As for what types of apps you can build with it, Visual Studio 2022 will be compatible with Azure resources, .NET 6, and C++ 20. That includes full support for the unified framework in .NET 6 and things like the Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) that can be used to create apps for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS.

Other improvements include better performance for the core debugger, support for text chat during Live Share sessions, more capabilities for the IntelliCode engine, improvements to code search, and better asynchronous collaboration, with new logic related to making commits and reviewing pull requests from platforms like GitHub.

IntelliCode AI suggestions in Visual Studio 2022
IntelliCode suggestions in Visual Studio

Microsoft also says it's "refreshing" Visual Studio for Mac, switching to a native macOS UI to offer better performance and reliability. It will also integrate with macOS accessibility features, and Microsoft is updating the terminology across the IDE so it's more consistent between Mac and Windows versions.

As mentioned above, the first preview of Visual Studio 2022 will be available this summer, and Microsoft will likely iterate on it a few times leading up to the stable release.

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