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Platform support on Visual Studio 2012

Much has been said about the lack of support for targeting Windows XP in the RTM version of Visual Studio 2012. However, it looks like there are also ominous clouds on the horizon for Vista.

I happened to be looking at the Visual Studio 2012 compatibility page and noticed something weird: the little footnote [4] that indicated Remote Debugging was not available for a platform was not only on the XP row, but also on the Vista row. I figured that must have been a mistake, until I also checked the Visual Studio 2012 Remote Tools download and found that it requires Windows 7 SP1. Now, I don't exactly feel like dragging out the old laptops to find out which one has the secondary Vista installation to test, so I'll have to take Microsoft's word on this. If it's true, though, it would be the first time I can remember that Visual Studio would let you target a platform and have no debugging support for it. I also find it weird because generally there are a lot more reasons at the API level to require Vista than to require Windows 7. With Vista, you get some long desired goodies like native conditional variables and CancelIoEx(). Requiring Windows 7 doesn't give you nearly as much, particularly with some of the new stuff back-ported through the Vista Platform Update.

Microsoft has announced that they will be working on an update to VS2012 to allow targeting Windows XP with the 2012 compiler, but I haven't heard about extending the debugging support. As such, it might be a good idea to brush up on your WinDbg skills. But hey, as I always say, using WinDbg builds character.


This blog was originally open for comments when this entry was first posted, but was later closed and then removed due to spam and after a migration away from the original blog software. Unfortunately, it would have been a lot of work to reformat the comments to republish them. The author thanks everyone who posted comments and added to the discussion.