Visual Studio 2012 is available now and Windows 8 will be on October 26th (Windows 8 is available now to MSDN subscribers). Do note that Visual Studio 2012 only works with Windows 7 and 8, Visual Studio 2012 is not supported on Windows XP. If you still must juggle Windows XP and Windows 7 dependencies, don’t forget that Windows 7 offers superb (and free) Windows XP virtual machine support. Alas, while Windows 8 does provide the superb Hyper-V virtual machine engine (lifted from Windows Server), Windows 8 doesn’t provide the “free” Windows XP license like Windows 7′s XP Mode does. The short story: Windows 7 makes it supremely easy and license-free to have a virtual Windows XP instance available; Windows 8 requires you to have an XP license (which is probably a minimal issue because you probably do have that if you have a need for a virtual XP instance) and you have to do a little more hand work to configure the XP virtual machine on Windows 8.

You can install and use VS2012 alongside VS2010. I’ve been using Windows 8 now for about a month. Except for its highly-touted ”Metro” UI alternative to the Windows Start button/program menu, my transition to Windows 8 has otherwise been smooth and easy.

AVR 11.0 is the ASNA Visual RPG product that works with VS 2012. AVR 11.0 is essentially the same as AVR 10.x but with VS 2012 support provided (ie, there is nothing new or different in AVR 11.0 except VS 2012 compatibility). AVR 11.0 will be generally available in November.

For your long-term Windows XP planning, remember that Microsoft ends Windows XP support on April 8, 2014. Be sure to let the importance of this register: this means that after April 8, 2014 there will be no more critical updates issued for Windows XP. So while Windows XP may be very stable and still doing a great job by then, you’ll no longer be able to count on Microsoft Windows updates to keep the XP platform secure. The upshot of all is that you should spend time (and money!) in 2013 replacing your legacy Windows XP desktops. Come April 9, 2014 they are targets for every Internet interloper, hacker, and script kiddie!