Visual Studio 2012 RC downloads




See below for information on compatibility topics, such as platform targeting and compatibility with previous releases of Visual Studio and .NET.

Visit the Downloads page to find detailed system requirements for each available download.

Platform compatibility and system requirements

When upgrading from Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 to the next release of Visual Studio you will take advantage of a refreshed and simplified environment with enhanced performance without any additional hardware requirements. Some of these core enhancements make use of capabilities that are only present in the latest versions of Windows and might require you to upgrade to a supported operating system. For product-specific, minimum system requirements, see: Downloads.


The system requirements for most of the products in the next release of Visual Studio are:

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows 7 (x86 and x64)
  • Windows 8 (x86 and x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)
  • Windows Server 2012 (x64)

Supported Architectures

  • 32-bit (x86)
  • 64-bit (x64)

Hardware Requirements

  • 1.6 GHz or faster processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (1.5 GB if running on a virtual machine)
  • 10 GB (NTFS) of available hard disk space
  • 5400 RPM hard drive
  • DirectX 9-capable video card running at 1024 x 768 or higher display resolution
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Platform targeting

The next release of Visual Studio provides cutting-edge tools and technologies to create apps that take advantage of the latest platforms capabilities. Visual Studio 2012 will also target earlier platforms such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 so you can create new apps or modernize existing apps that execute on earlier versions of Windows while leveraging the enhanced development tools, quality enablement and team collaboration capabilities in Visual Studio 2012. For more information, see Visual Studio Multi-Targeting Overview.

Targeted platform Native code development Managed code development
Client OS
Windows 8
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP and earlier
2, 4
3, 4
Server OS
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2003 and earlier
2, 4
3, 4

1. Metro style app development is supported on Windows 8. Build and remote debugging supported in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

2. Requires side-by-side installation of Visual Studio 2010. For more information, see: A Look Ahead at the Visual Studio 2012 Product Lineup and Platform Support.

3. Requires using Visual Studio managed multi-targeting.

4. Remote debugging and profiling tools not available for targeted platform.


Compatibility with previous releases

  • .NET 4.5 is an in-place update of .NET 4 and provides very high app compatibility for all .NET 4 scenarios
  • You can install and use Visual Studio 2012 alongside Visual Studio 2010
  • Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 requires 64-bit versions of server operating systems when installing on Windows Server (see Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 system requirements)

Upgrade paths

When following the supported upgrade paths, your Visual Studio source, solution, and project files will continue to work; however, you should expect to make some changes to sources. While we cannot guarantee binary compatibility between releases, we will do our best to document significant changes to assist you with updates.

  • Supported:
    • Upgrade from .NET 4.5 Developer Preview to Beta
    • Upgrade from .NET 4.5 Beta to Release (RTM)
    • Upgrade from Visual Studio 11 Beta & .NET 4.5 Beta to Release Candidate
    • Upgrade from Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate & .NET 4.5 Release Candidate to Release (RTM)
  • Not supported:
    • Upgrade from Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview to Beta; however, you can install Visual Studio 11 Beta after uninstalling Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview
    • Upgrade from Visual Studio 11 Beta to Release (RTM)

Carrying assets forward

All data in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 (work items, source files, tests and test results, builds, and warehouse data) will be carried forward when following supported upgrade paths. Even when following supported upgrade paths, you should take adequate measures to back up and protect your data prior to upgrading to a new release

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