Microsoft celebrates 20 years of Visual Studio; VS 2017 launches on March 7

Microsoft announced today that it's celebrating 20 years of Visual Studio, and in doing so, introduced a launch date for Visual Studio 2017, which will be available on March 7.

Visual Studio 97 was the first version of the IDE, and it launched in, you guessed it, 1997. Back then, it was a suite of applications, such as Visual Basic 5.0, Visual C++ 5.0, and more. It was followed by Visual Studio 6.0, which included a similar suite, and then .NET was launched.

Visual Studio .NET marked major changes for the IDE. It introduced a new language, C#, and a drastically changed Visual Basic .NET. Apps were no longer compiled into machine language. Instead, they'd be compiled through the .NET Framework, allowing them to run on more platforms.

This was the beginning of the modern Visual Studio that we know today, even though the '.NET' was dropped from the name with Visual Studio 2005. Of course, there have been numerous improvements to the IDE since then, such as the ability to build WinRT apps in 2012 and UWP apps in 2015.

Microsoft wants you to post your memories of Visual Studio on social media using #MyVSstory. You can let the firm know how long you've been using it, the coolest software that you've built, and what you like best about it. Of course, you can always just provide some birthday wishes.

The company will be holding a two-day event beginning on March 7 to launch Visual Studio 2017, which will be livestreamed here. March 8 will include "a full day of live training with multiple topics to choose from."

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