So, the long waited message arrives, Atmel Studio 7.0 Beta is ready!
Downloads available from here.
The most striking change should be the fact that we finally have decoupled the architectures in Atmel Studio, allowing installation of the architecture YOU want. Note that this work is still ongoing, so all toolchains are still being installed, but device support is not installed based on the choice.
We also have a web-installer available to minimize downloads.
Another big change from previous versions is that device support is now done using the CMSIS-Pack concept, which allows us to do device updates much more fluently than before. This ties into the recent changes in avr-gcc and avr-libc, removing device-knowledge from the toolchain which again allows us to provide device support without having to roll out new toolchain distributions.
The shell has been updated to Visual Studio Isolated Shell 2013 (not 2012, Cliff) giving a cleaner look and feel (and hopefully increasing the overall performance). 2013 also brings with it a couple of themes, where dark theme is the major improvement in my eyes. There are still dialogs and windows that we haven't styled completely, but most views have at least some knowledge about the theme. This does mean that Atmel Studio 7.0 does not support Windows XP.
We also support importing Arduino sketches now (one-way import) which should ease the transition from the Arduino environment into Atmel Studio for those wanting debug functionality etc.
And the final passage in the release notes is that we finally have built-in support for the Atmel DFU bootloaders (Flip bootloaders), allowing for a more seamless usage of these.
On the boring side, we have re-wamped the documentation system. Now, no documentation is shipped with Atmel Studio, but downloadable through the Help Viewer. This makes it possible for us to push updates on documentation without having to relate to any Atmel Studio release schedule. We are also experimenting with datasheets in the documentation system (currently the SAM L21). There are some issues with things not appearing at the correct levels, which we are working on.
As usual, the notice of flying monkeys and BSODs apply, so don't install it on your finest production environment.