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Visual Studio 11 Beta: Thoughts and Resources


A couple of things were announced today. First, Visual Studio 11 Beta will arrive on February 29th, 2012 with a Go-Live license and second we have a TFS Express edition coming out. But what most developers were interested in learning about is Visual Studio 11. So here it is, a screenshot of the next version of Visual Studio just before I head off to the MVP Summit next week.


And here is a similar screen of a Grid Application for Windows 8 taken from my Windows 8 Developer Preview box.


So, What do you think?

I’ve heard mixed reviews so far, but I must say that I kind of like it. As you can tell from the screenshot, this isn’t your typical Visual Studio. It follows the Metro guidelines that (some) have grown to love in Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 applications. My first thought was, where are all the colors? This reminds me a Windows 3.1 application with all the gray.

File manager in Windows 3.1


Then I read the following quote:

In VS 11 we have eliminated the use of color within tools except in cases where color is used for notification or status change purposes. Consequently, the UI within VS 11 now competes far less with the developer’s content. Additionally, notifications and status changes now draw user attention much more readily than before. (source)

Then it started to make sense.

  • The first thing I notice in Visual Studio 11 is the design view of the application.
  • The second thing I notice is the code.
  • The typography in Visual Studio 11 is also pretty to look at and easy to read. 
  • In VS10/Windows 3.1, they used the white background everywhere, in VS 11 it blends in with the theme and is only used in the code.
  • You can now read the text in the toolbar easier. Go ahead and compare the toolbar of Visual Studio 2010 and Windows 3.1 to the Visual Studio 11 version.

But the question remains, as a developer can you stare all day at the metro theme and be comfortable? I think this is a question that we will have to see. Let me also remind you that it comes with a dark theme as well. You can also create your own color schemes like we did in previous versions.  (source)

So for now, I’ll focus on the improved feature set that Visual Studio 11 brings and try out the metro theme when it is in my hands. :)


I’ve rounded up all the links posted so far on Visual Studio 11 Beta, so you don’t have to go digging around the net to find them. I’ve also included the post on TFS Express and some additional screenshots of Visual Studio 11 found in the Press Pass from Microsoft.

Visual Studio 11 Resources

Main Product Page

Visual Studio 11 Beta and .NET Framework 4.5

Introducing the New Developer Experience

The Road to Visual Studio 11 Beta and .NET 4.5 Beta

Sneak Preview of Visual Studio 11 and .NET Framework 4.5 Beta

Visual Studio Beta Coming Next Week by VSM

Visual Studio 11 Virtual Presspass

TFS Express Resources

Coming Soon: TFS Express


Build Java Projects Using Ant or Maven With Team Build

Code Clone — Comparing Two Matches

Completing a Code Review

Give Feedback

IntelliTrace Analyze

New UI

PowerPoint Storyboarding

Product Backlog With Forecast Lines

Request Feedback

Sprint Burndown Chart


Team Explorer Everywhere

TEE Showing Build Settings With Apache Maven 

Unit Testing


As always, leave any feedback or comments below and we can continue this conversation. I’m also on twitter if you want to connect on there.


Source: http://michaelcrump.net/visual-studio-11-beta-thoughts-and-resources


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