Following Arnaud’s invitation to attend the Virtual launch of Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 today, I visited Microsoft Indian Ocean Islands office at the Dias Pier Building, Caudan. A nice & cozy place among the hustle-bustle of Port-Louis.

Avinash Seetaram & Pawan came along with me. We went on the 7th Floor to find an open space with almost no indication about offices on that floor. So, I called up Jochen who reached earlier. He came out & waived at us. As we walked towards the office entrance we noticed there was a Microsoft banner outside but it was hidden from view due to a large cylindrical pillar.

We entered and saw everyone was seated in a conference room. There seemed to be some activity on screen. In fact the launch was happening in Dubai & viewed by various teams around the world. Initially there was some audio issue which Arnaud solved out in a short while. It was one of the laptops maybe.

S. Somasegar, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President opened the ceremony and announced some statistics about Visual Studio 2012 first. He then elaborated on the project aims of Microsoft with 2013’s release of Visual Studio. Visual Studio 2013 also comes in a cloud version called Visual Studio Online. The demos that came next were awesome. I liked many of the new features (although I’m not really a VS user) … the concept is promising. Visual Studio 2013 features multiple browser testing which I believe is a great feature when developing web applications. Syntax highlighting has extended features & I also liked the part when ending tags are auto-corrected as opening tags are renamed. A lot of these features will simplify things for a developer indeed. The first demos were done by Luke Hoban & Aaron Bjork … Both guys did an awesome job at presenting the features in a fashionable way.

Visual Studio 2013

However, two other features made my day. First was Microsoft’s collaboration with Xamarin. Both Jochen & I smiled :) Jochen in fact took my notebook & wrote Miguel de Icaza. Yes indeed, that was the name that crossed my mind when I heard Xamarin. He’s been the guy lobbying all the way promoting cross-platform development. He’s behind Mono. We couldn’t resist clapping here. He made things happen with same code (applications) running on Windows, Linux & iOS, all without the need of major hacking. The second feature was availability of Git for version controlling in Visual Studio 2013.

During the lunch break I met & had some quickie discussions with folks around, especially the MSPs (Microsoft Student Partners). It’s always fun to meet new people & expand the geek network.

Overall I had a fun day at Microsoft watching a new wave of change towards applications inter-operability. I thanked Arnaud Meslier for the invitation & the great moment we shared. In turn, I invited him for some Linux fun during Linuxfest 2013 happening on Monday 25th November 2013.

Photos, courtesy of Pawan.