Yes, using it right now.
Performance is the same, since you're basically doing on your pc the same things you're doing on the cloud through the intel XDK.
You only have the advantage to not rely on cloud compilers and test the newest features and bugfixes without waiting Intel updates (FYI I tested X-Walk 13 Canary and performance is still terrible compared to X-Walk 7, but that's not a surprise since it's based on the still flawed Chromium 41)
If you want to build your X-Walk apps with Visual Studio there's a simple tutorial at this link.
Keep in mind that there's currently a bug that prevent the automatic download of cordova plugins from the apache registry, so you have to download and unpack them manually in the project folder (Microsoft claims that the issue has been fixed in CTP 3.1, but didn't work for me).