The new version of Atmel's IDE is free of charge and woos Arduino makers longing for new development resources.
Atmel staff officially announced today the availability of the new version of their IDE, saying that "Atmel Studio 7 accelerates MCU designs for both developers and Makers alike, bridging the gap between the MakerSpace and MarketPlace".
Atmel's IDE for AVR microcontrollers (like the ones you find on popular Arduinos, including the Uno) and other MCUs is a graphical platform (based on the 2015 version of MS Visual Studio Shell) for creating and configuring embedded applications, developing and debugging in the same, relatively simple, user interface.
Version 7 has a cleaner and updated user interface, a new help system integrated with the documentation and external resources, a better focused start page as long as several improvements to the editor.
Describing it as "ideal for the Maker community", Atmel's announcement is clear about a new target segment: they say "Studio 7 lets Arduino developers quickly port their sketches created in the Arduino environment as C++ projects, and seamlessly migrate their prototypes into the professional Studio 7 environment".
By "seamlessly migrate" they really mean what you thought: one-click import of projects created in the Arduino. While there have been improvements on Arduino's IDE recently, some external competition may be what the doctor ordered to keep the community resources focused on what matters, and not on internal wars.
Atmel Studio 7 is free of charge and is integrated with the Atmel Software Framework (ASF) — a library of free source code with 1,600 project examples.