Key software application development press invited to the recent Microsoft Build and TechEd North America conferences this year will have spent considerable time listening to the company's execs detail roadmap updates.
More specifically, attendees will have heard news of the Microsoft's Visual Studio 2013 Update 3.
NOTE: This is a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Visual Studio 2013 Update 3) -- CTP is within the alpha and beta stages of the software application development cycle i.e. after pre-alpha and before Release Candidate.
Improvements in this latest release concentrate on Visual Studio features such as IntelliTrace, CodeLens, debugging functions and developer testing tools.
An assortment of other early preview stage functions are also included here...
... which leads us to the question: just how fast is Microsoft pushing its development cycle for its core programming tools suite?
Answer: really very fast.
Program director for software development research at IDC Al Hilwa says that the Microsoft VS team is "really on a roll" and that it is "really dizzying" how fast Microsoft is moving, especially since the two major releases before it were only a year apart.
"The innovation is moving in the industry and tools are enablers that sit at the headwaters of innovation, so it is not unreasonable. You also have to consider that a lot of this is because Microsoft is re-aligning its ecosystem to snap to the web ecosystem (Cordova)... and bringing phone and tablet closer together with Universal apps. Both were parts of Update 2, which only came out a month ago," said Hilwa.
The best place to follow Visual Studio roadmap development is the Visual Studio blog itself.