Microsoft is offering developers new information on the next version of its Visual Studio platform.
The company said that the beta release of Visual Studio 11, due to arrive on 29 February, would allow developers to more efficiently design applications and collaborate on projects.
Unveiled at last year's Build Conference, the Visual Studio 11 release is aiming to provide developers a single platform for building, testing and maintaining applications and services.
The company said that the new features in the release includes improved collaboration and sharing tools to enhance communication between developers and allow teams to compare notes on changes and bugs.
"When developers open Visual Studio 11 beta, they’ll find a complete redesign of the user interface that reflects this shift," Microsoft spokesperson Steve Clayton said in a blog post.
"One of the primary goals was to help developers eliminate distractions and remain 'in the zone' where they can create some incredible experiences."
The release will also bring an overhaul to the Team Foundation Service platform. The company will offer hosted versions of the platform for IT service providers and enterprises as well as a free version of the platform dubbed Team Foundation Server Express.
The free Team Foundation Server Express will be offered by Microsoft as an introductory system for testing the platform prior to purchasing a larger deployment.
Microsoft said that the express version of the platform would be limited to five users on a single server and would exclude Sharepoint support and reporting features.
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