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As a developer it’s very common to “google” for code samples, when you’re set out to write code that you have either forgotten or if you’re not quite sure how something works. I always use Google for this, because I believe they have the best results. And frankly because I haven’t given Bing a fair chance.

Now, Microsoft has released a new extension for Visual Studio 2013; Bing Code Search for C#. The extension does exactly what its name implies. But, it does it in a fashion that is incredibly clever. Your search result is displayed inside Visual Studio and it only shows the working Code Sample, as opposed to Google, where you have to pick out several results. Or when searching StackOverflow.com where it’s very likely that 10 people answer the same question with variations of the same answer.

Here’s how it works.

Install the extension from the Visual Studio Gallery.

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Click on the  Bing Logo and the text “How do I …”.

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Enter your query in the search field.

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In this example I got 8 results, which I can browse between. Click on the Accept-button to insert the script to your code file.

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Beautiful, Microsoft!

During this week, ten years ago, we began developing our first solution using Microsoft Visual Studio .Net and Microsoft .Net Framework.

When starting our company Mindbite back in 2000, ASP development (Active Server Pages) using Visual InterDev was really cool, so that became our area of expertise. In 2002 Microsoft released .Net Framework with Visual Studio .Net and I can remember us giving that a try. The tools and languages were completely different than ASP and the learning threshold was a lot higher, so it wasn’t until the summer a year later that we decided to leave ASP in favor of .Net Framework.

The easiest route from ASP till .Net Framework was to choose the language Visual Basic .Net, so that’s what we did. I can also remember us bringing in a lot of crappy thinking from ASP to .Net Framework. Looking back at our earliest .Net solutions feels like a train wreck.

Fortunately, we learned quite quick and very soon we had left ASP development behind us, and we haven’t looked back since. During the years we have delivered hundreds and hundreds of solutions developed with Microsoft .Net.

In 2010 we decided to leave the programming language Visual Basic .Net in favor of C# (which is also a .Net programming language). This was one of our biggest, yet most important, decisions in our history.

During our ten years with Microsoft .Net we’ve worked hard to get as much as possible out of it. That’s why we partnered up early with Microsoft. We’ve gone through several partner stages, from MAPS to Empower Program and in 2009 we became a Microsoft Silver Partner. Two years later we reached Gold level Partnership. This is a level that we work hard on to keep.

Recently we also successfully Gold Certified our flagship product SiteFactory CMS, which is built on Microsoft .Net, for Windows Server 2012.

Over these ten years we’ve adopted every release of Visual Studio, Visual Source Safe and Team Foundation Server. These great tools has empowered us to deliver great solutions for our customers. We’ve worked with six different major versions of Visual Studio, starting with Visual Studio .Net (2002) and we’re currently using Visual Studio 2012. Very soon Microsoft will release Visual Studio 2013 which we’re very excited about.

So I hope this story will continue for at least another ten years.

It’s quite the big week now. In terms of Microsoft Software that is. Microsoft has unveiled preview after preview this week. Yesterday they released previews for Windows 8.1, Visual Studio 2013 and Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5.1. That’s just one day after releasing previews for Windows Server 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014 and System Center 2012 R2.

I’ve installed Windows 8.1 Preview on a Hyper-V machine, and also installed Visual Studio 2013 Preview. Now I’m ready to take it for a spin.

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The Visual Studio start experience. So far it looks a lot like Visual Studio 2012, which is good. From what I’ve read, they’ve worked a lot with the TFS experience, which wasn’t that good in 2012.

Since I’m mainly a Web Developer, I’ll test the Web Application Features first.

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At this point I’ve already found some new features. Some new ASP.NET Project Templates, like Facebook Application and Mobile Application. Personally I don’t like Templates, since they take away pretty much all my control over the Project. For instance, when creating a Web Project from the Mobile Template, there are about 40 Library References automatically added to my Project. Maybe I’m old school, but I prefer to add References only when I need them, and after some serious consideration.

This of course has nothing to do with the new Visual Studio. It’s more of a personal note :)

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When pulling up Team Explorer I notice some new (long awaited) features. Team Explorer in Visual Studio 2012 got a lot of both hate and love, since it changed pretty much everything from previous versions. In Visual Studio 2013 Microsoft has been listening to the the developers and improved Team Explorer.

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The Pending Changes Window can now be separated from the Team Explorer Window, and be placed anywhere in the IDE. This is something I’ve missed since Visual Studio 2010.

I’ll pause my tests for now and head out for some lunch. During which I’ll seriously consider if I should install Visual Studio 2013 Preview on my production machine.

Yesterday Microsoft released Visual Studio 11 beta. Eager to install it on my production machine, I finally came to my senses and installed it on a virtual machine instead. My first impression was the sexy installer.

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Much cleaner UI

The user interface is much cleaner and I love the new icons.

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I haven’t begun testing .Net Framework 4.5 yet, but I’ve read a lot about it and I will start testing it with our products soon.

I’m really excited by the new version of Visual Studio and I look forward to installing it on my production machine.