Microsoft to launch Visual Studio 11 beta on Feb. 29

Wednesday, February 29 is turning out to be a bigger day for Microsoft than first thought. The company had already announced it would launch the Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 on that day. Now Microsoft has announced it will launch the beta version of two more software products on that same day, including the beta for Visual Studio 11.

Technically Visual Studio 11 is a code name for what Microsoft will likely call Visual Studio 2012 when the final version is released. The software development tool will have a number of new features. In fact one of those features is actually something of a reduction. The tools eliminate the use of color in the graphics "except in cases where color is used for notification or status change purposes."

Visual Studio 11 also cuts down on the number of commands that appear on the default version of the program's user interface. It also has improved search features, adds Preview Tabs and uses what Microsoft calls workflow hubs to allow developers to work on programs via a single window. It's not a shock to hear that Visual Studio 11 supports Windows 8.

Microsoft will also launch the beta version of .NET Framework 4.5 on Wednesday which has a number of additional features as well as performance improvements.

Image via Microsoft

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I don't care much for the new UI, but I can't wait for C# 5, all the new cool stuff in .NET 4.5, and even the improvements to C++. Semantic syntax coloring!

Dr_Asik said,
I don't care much for the new UI, but I can't wait for C# 5, all the new cool stuff in .NET 4.5, and even the improvements to C++. Semantic syntax coloring!

I'm disappointed in the C++11 adoption by Microsoft. Everyone else pretty much almost has it finished except Microsoft.

That's the general idea. The IDE UI has been redesigned like this deliberately, so the UI doesn't distract from the developers focus, their development. They don't just do this on a whim, y'know. MS spent millions on UI research and this is all based on a combination of their research and user feedback. Personally, I friggin' HATE the VS2010 look. I hate the blue, and I hate the slowness of it thanks to it being WPF. The blue can at least be fixed...

FloatingFatMan said,
Personally, I friggin' HATE the VS2010 look. I hate the blue, and I hate the slowness of it thanks to it being WPF. The blue can at least be fixed...

There has been a Addon to change the color for ages… This thing is still based on WPF, so it won't be faster than VS2010…

FloatingFatMan said,
That's the general idea. The IDE UI has been redesigned like this deliberately, so the UI doesn't distract from the developers focus, their development. They don't just do this on a whim, y'know. MS spent millions on UI research and this is all based on a combination of their research and user feedback. Personally, I friggin' HATE the VS2010 look. I hate the blue, and I hate the slowness of it thanks to it being WPF. The blue can at least be fixed...

I'm aware of all that, it's just, if you seen the recent images of Office 15's Tech Preview, it too has been redesigned with the same non-distraction Metro yet it looks decent and clean whereas this screen of VS looks dull and bland.

It seems to be, despite Metro being a common UI throughout all of Microsoft now, the only group that has made it look properly decent is the Office team. Compare Outlook from the O15 Tech Preview against the Mail app as shown in one of the videos on B8. Outlook looks clean while still not being distracting and focusing on the text whereas the Mail app, with the same exact tri-pane layout, looks dull and lifeless.

Enjoy the benefits of the Visual Studio 2011 UI right now by just setting your screen to grayscale and turning the contrast all the way up.

virtorio said,
Enjoy the benefits of the Visual Studio 2011 UI right now by just setting your screen to grayscale and turning the contrast all the way up.

Wrong again, monkey boy.
Unlike VS11 which makes you focus on the code, this ruins the syntax highlighting and chieves the opposite effect.

RealFduch said,

Wrong again, monkey boy.
Unlike VS11 which makes you focus on the code, this ruins the syntax highlighting and chieves the opposite effect.

Monkey Boy, what is this... 3rd grade?

They should re-work the syntax coloring to shades of grey. They currently have way too much contrast and it is too easy to tell what-is-what. How about some consistency, MS?

Shadrack said,
They should re-work the syntax coloring to shades of grey. They currently have way too much contrast and it is too easy to tell what-is-what. How about some consistency, MS?

lol

Shadrack said,
They should re-work the syntax coloring to shades of grey. They currently have way too much contrast and it is too easy to tell what-is-what. How about some consistency, MS?

What in "let the user focus on what is important - the code" don't you understand?
Why do you want the distraction of transparency and icons when all you want to see is your code?

Shadrack said,
They should re-work the syntax coloring to shades of grey. They currently have way too much contrast and it is too easy to tell what-is-what. How about some consistency, MS?

Can't you already set your own syntax highlighting preferences in vs?
YOU can d0000 it.

RealFduch said,

What in "let the user focus on what is important - the code" don't you understand?
Why do you want the distraction of transparency and icons when all you want to see is your code?

I did not get the impression that the guy was serious, but was rather taking a sarcastic jab at how Microsoft don't just always make it easy to tell what-is-what. Did I misinterpret it, seeing you're taking it dead serious?

RealFduch said,

Why do you want the distraction of transparency and icons when all you want to see is your code?

Is it all I want to do? Developing software is about so much more than just stupidly writing code…

RealFduch said,

What in "let the user focus on what is important - the code" don't you understand?
Why do you want the distraction of transparency and icons when all you want to see is your code?

Syntax highlighting is on the code Plus, if all we wanted to see was our code, we wouldn't be using IDE's, we'd be using notepad or something...

I often find myself making the code window fullscreen just to keep the IDE out of sight -- maybe this minimalistic version will help the interface fade into the background while the code stands out...

Not saying I like it but it will be a matter of trying it.

Next week will be like christmas
Looking forward to see what VS11 and .NET 4.5 brings in new functionality. Don't really care that much about how it looks as long as it performs on par or better than VS2010.

The mono icons are a bad idea. OK for a handful of icons but for a whole toolbar users don't just go by shapes they also go by colours. Don't see it as progress.

glyfz said,
The mono icons are a bad idea. OK for a handful of icons but for a whole toolbar users don't just go by shapes they also go by colours. Don't see it as progress.

I was thinking the same, but i realize that i don't use any of those icons (only debug button). This for VS but also for Eclipse... they have good shortcuts to work with.

glyfz said,
The mono icons are a bad idea. OK for a handful of icons but for a whole toolbar users don't just go by shapes they also go by colours. Don't see it as progress.

I like the mono icons, I just dont like how flat the UI looks. That could be a theme though

Windows 8 Developer Preview, Microsoft Flight and now Visual Studio 11 Beta all on Feb 29th. If this doesn't cause Microsoft's network to crash I'll be impressed.

Sadelwo said,
Windows 8 Developer Preview, Microsoft Flight and now Visual Studio 11 Beta all on Feb 29th. If this doesn't cause Microsoft's network to crash I'll be impressed.

What?
MS have used Akamai content delivery networks for years. More often than not, the Akamai datacenters are hosted on-site at ISPs.
Caching to the nearest server is the only load that will happen to MS networks.


and, btw, Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

dotf said,
Thanks John!!!!!

I only hope that we can install this on older OSes, unlike the dev preview which only ran on the dev preview of Win8.


I'm running the Developer Preview of Visual Studio 11 on my Windows 7 computer.

I hope they just call it Visual studio 11, the version numbers are important to know and they never corresponded with the year (until vs2010). Pop quiz - what VS is v8? It sure as hell ain't 2008, that's v9. Yeah...

Kushan said,
I hope they just call it Visual studio 11, the version numbers are important to know and they never corresponded with the year (until vs2010). Pop quiz - what VS is v8? It sure as hell ain't 2008, that's v9. Yeah...

as v10 == VS2010 was just a lucky coincidence I'd say v11 == VS2012 is granted…

Kushan said,
I hope they just call it Visual studio 11, the version numbers are important to know and they never corresponded with the year (until vs2010). Pop quiz - what VS is v8? It sure as hell ain't 2008, that's v9. Yeah...
2005

uh so we went back to the windows 3.11 visual studio? seriously that is pretty much how it looked, black only toolbox icons and all....

neufuse said,
uh so we went back to the windows 3.11 visual studio? seriously that is pretty much how it looked, black only toolbox icons and all....

Visual studio didn't actually exist in its current integrated form until 1998 and didn't exist at all till '95. So there is no such thing as Windows 3.11 Visual studio.

neufuse said,
....

I'm in an organization that is just now migrating from java based solution to .net based solutions.
They are terrified by VS 2010 as most are emacs programmers.

These are welcome changes for my company.

neufuse said,
uh so we went back to the windows 3.11 visual studio? seriously that is pretty much how it looked, black only toolbox icons and all....

Technically it did exist as Visual C++, Visual Basic it just wasn't integarted into one IDE.. that is what I am talking about back then, instead of looking for technicalities just try to read into the statement next time... I had both of them back on Windows 3.11..

dotf said,

I'm in an organization that is just now migrating from java based solution to .net based solutions.
They are terrified by VS 2010 as most are emacs programmers.

These are welcome changes for my company.


Nice that it fits those backwards ass Emacs programmers^^ too bad it really looks retro…

neufuse said,
uh so we went back to the windows 3.11 visual studio? seriously that is pretty much how it looked, black only toolbox icons and all....

Eh I kind of like it, prefer it over 2010's blue.. just needs to be a bit brighter though, kinda dingy. But there is a nice addon over at the VS Gallery that'll let you re-color the IDE to your heart's content.. don't see why it wouldn't be updated for this new version once it's final.

dotf said,

but there's still all those colourful icons and toolbars and palettes

Work doesn't have to be dull. Actually, I have the Theme plugin in my VS 2010 and I always set it to Aero

Riva said,
Metro looks bad for VS 11

Please, don't start calling everthing that doesn't have dozens of glass and opacity effects Metro.

I, for myself, kinda like the new interface, because I don't need eyecandy in a professional development software which would only distract me from my content.
This one seems both very powerful on the one hand but also very structured and organized on the other.

chrilo said,

Please, don't start calling everthing that doesn't have dozens of glass and opacity effects Metro.

I, for myself, kinda like the new interface, because I don't need eyecandy in a professional development software which would only distract me from my content.
This one seems both very powerful on the one hand but also very structured and organized on the other.

And I can compare it heads up to VS10 (which is included with the DP+tools ISO), which runs just fine.

I can only hope that the beta of VS11 is included with one ISO of the VCP...this could be *real dayum good* for developers.

Yikes. At first glance, it's drab city. I'm anxious to give it a spin. Usually these things need some actual face time to let the look and feel sink in.

Skwerl said,
Yikes. At first glance, it's drab city. I'm anxious to give it a spin. Usually these things need some actual face time to let the look and feel sink in.

Yeah, it's a bit odd that they chose grey. It reminds me of Windows 98. XD Still, the improvements themselves look great!

rev23dev said,
Will an Office Beta launch on or around that date, too? Or will 2010 work ok in the Beta -- I mean, Consumer Preview.

Office 2010 will work fine, just like virtually every other program that runs on Windows 7 :3 The Office 15 BETA is set for summer some time.

Gorgeous, I wish my work would allow us to throw that on our computers with all the work a couple of us do in VB... but of course we're chained to XP and VB 2003

Mike Herm said,
Gorgeous, I wish my work would allow us to throw that on our computers with all the work a couple of us do in VB... but of course we're chained to XP and VB 2003

Can you bring your own laptop in? That's what I do at my work, because they're stuck on XP and Office XP.

Mike Herm said,
Gorgeous, I wish my work would allow us to throw that on our computers with all the work a couple of us do in VB... but of course we're chained to XP and VB 2003
Holy cow. That makes no sense. Why would they want you to stay chained to such an old version? You're missing out on so many improvements and advancements! Sounds like there's some old stuck fud who is calling the shots but he/she is afraid to move to something new they don't understand. Couple that with intimidation of a more advanced product and fear that someone below them will pass then up and shine and you have a recipe for being stuck with old tools. That really sucks....

Tim Dawg said,
Holy cow. That makes no sense. Why would they want you to stay chained to such an old version? You're missing out on so many improvements and advancements! Sounds like there's some old stuck fud who is calling the shots but he/she is afraid to move to something new they don't understand. Couple that with intimidation of a more advanced product and fear that someone below them will pass then up and shine and you have a recipe for being stuck with old tools. That really sucks....

I still use vb6 at work and the only reason i have a current version of .net is because i brought in my own copy. Some companies dont move up is because of lack of cash and/or lack of sight. And youre right, it does suck.