back to article Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

Windows software developers have given a thumbs down to the black-and-white Metro-style Visual Studio 2011 and sent Microsoft back to the drawing board - preferably one with coloured pencils. More than 4,000 Visual Studio users have so-far voted on Microsoft’s UserVoice poll to say the code development suite's black-and-white …


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  1. Anonymous Coward 15

    Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

    Disability Discrimination Act? Americans with Disabilities Act? I smell lawyers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

      "I smell lawyers."

      Unlikely. Accessability applies to public physical enviroments, not computer screens. Running Windows is not an essential part of life, never mind developing in Visual Studio.

      1. David Hicks

        Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

        I'm pretty sure there was some sort of fuss about websites a few years back, someone in the UK government was pretty sure that accessibility laws applied to them somehow.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

          "I'm pretty sure there was some sort of fuss about websites a few years back, someone in the UK government was pretty sure that accessibility laws applied to them somehow."

          Another politician talking bollocks. There's a shock.

          1. Ian Yates

            Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

            Quite right. Blind people don't deserve to use the web! We should allow everyone to discriminate however they want - freedom of speech!

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

              "Quite right. Blind people don't deserve to use the web! We should allow everyone to discriminate however they want - freedom of speech!"

              Yeah , right on brother!

              And lets not forget deaf people - its pure discrimination that radio doesn't come with subtitles!

              Every disability should be catered for all the time everywhere no matter what the cost or practicalities because its ooman rights init?

              1. MadonnaC

                Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

                Don't forget that avon and somerset police have sign language on their website

                They supposedly say it's for the deaf that don't have English as their primary language, but you have to be able to read the links to find it


  2. Greg J Preece

    Colour Vampires

    I like that, I'm going to steal it.

    But yeah, these people are right. It's just awful to use, especially when your other IDE is Netbeans with a modified City Lights setup and version control thrown in - colourtastic. I almost immediately went back to VS2010, new thingummies that don't work properly yet be damned!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Colour Vampires

      Well, while I tend to agree (haven't tried the beta myself, but can't imagine using my C# VS 2010 Express without colors) but it is also a fact that many developers don't like change per definition.

      Funny that you should mention NetBeans (one of my favorites) because that is another fine example of that. When version 6 came out the main toolbar got a makeover which also managed to cause a little uproar due to the 'dull' way the new icons looked. Many people disliked it and as such also complained.

      Now we're on NB 7, the icons look the same and it seems to me as if people have gotten used to them. As such; some changes may grow on you with time (though I don't see this happening with the color removal to be honest).

      1. durbster

        Re: Colour Vampires

        I don't think this is rejection of change. Colour is enormously important in useability - picking out icons in OS/X is largely due to their colour (how many people have clicked on the wrong icon beause it has the same colour).

        Icons themselves are almost meangingless - at that size people can quickly recognise position, shape and colour but not pictures.

        If you don't believe that, try and describe the picture that's on the 'paste' button in Word without looking at it first. It's been the same since Word came out but I doubt many would recognise it out of context.

    2. P. Lee

      Re: Colour Vampires

      I"m gonna sue. I invented "Party Vampires" a while ago and this is way too close.

    3. Mikel

      Re: Colour Vampires

      You'll get over it.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Yah, that's pretty depressing. Then again VS UI has never been all that clever. Dialog boxes that ought to resize but don't. Others that resize but don't remember what you last set them to. Bizarre under use of space (project options for .net). Stupidily long delays opening dialogs (assembly references in 2k8, sort of improved in 2k10 at the expense of slowing everything else down it seems).

    Either the VS development team are a bunch of clueless geeks or else they just like torturing the rest of us and have an internal build that has actually been run through usability tests.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Let's see if Microsoft is listening."

    Considering all the other UI changes MS have forced on users in the last few years, I'll be surprised if they back down on this one.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: "Let's see if Microsoft is listening."

      First they removed our Windows and I didn't complain.

      Then they removed our multitasking and I didn't complain.

      Then they removed the colour and no-one was left to complain to.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: "Let's see if Microsoft is listening."

        ...but it was all for your own good!

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        Hmmm... Microsoft Listening.

        Sounds a bit like an oxymoron to me.

        Also to respond to the first poster who alluded to the ADA and such...When you have scotopic sensitivity syndrome, you don't use the default colors (generally black text on white background). You use colors that dampen the contrast enough to make the screen readable. Or you simply don't use the fucking product.

        I suspect it will be the latter for me, as I'm not about to allow the asshats at Microsoft to give me headaches so they can engage in member-measuring about their Oh-sooo-k3wl change-for-change-sake GUIs.

        1. Dick Pountain

          Re: Hmmm... Microsoft Listening.

          "Oh-sooo-k3wl ..."

          Yep, you've nailed it there. See Chromophobia at

    2. Arctic fox

      Re: "I'll be surprised if they back down on this one."

      They are indisputably capable of being "cut your nose of to spite your face"-stubborn but it is not entirely unknown for them to rethink if they get a big enough kicking. The capacity to hide the ribbon in Office 2010 as a "one-click" operation contra their "spin on this" attitude with Office 2007 which appeared to cost them sales (a lot of companies refused to upgrade from Office 2003 until 2010 came out) for example. If they get the feeling that ignoring the response to this beta is going to cost them they may think again - well one can always hope.

    3. Mikel

      Re: "Let's see if Microsoft is listening."

      If you even hope Microsoft might be listening to you, you don't understand the nature of your relationship with them.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    This is what the Win 8 refresh of Aero applications are going to look like?

    Please, someone, say it ain't so.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 too



    *strokes his mac*

    *calms down*

    *purrs at Mountain Lion*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8 too

      > *strokes his mac*

      Really, there's no need for that kind of filth here.

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        "Really, there's no need for that kind of filth here"

        Oh damn.

        I've obviously been reading the headlines wrong for the last 8 years thenn

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: Windows 8 too

      If Mountain Lion is anything like the Lion that preceded it, it can sod off. What an absolutely worthless upgrade that was. A fullscreen focus-stealing application menu (to add to your applications menu next to your other nested applications menu - usability!), the stupidest implementation of fullscreen apps I've ever seen in my life, a raft of bugs, and not much else. Wasn't worth the upgrade from the far more dependable Snow Leopard.

      1. ThomH

        Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

        What can you possibly have against the Mac's implementation of full-screen apps? You press the relevant button, the app goes full screen. Individual apps get individual virtual screens so you can three-finger swipe between them (or use control + cursors if you're a keyboard person). Care to enlighten us on the flaws in that?

        As for MSVC 2011, I don't really see what the uproar is about. I've had no problems finding any of the supplied tools (easily, without extended hunting) and if anything the fact that colour is now reserved for content I'm actually working on has made the overall display much clearer and easier to work with.

        1. Greg J Preece

          Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

          "You press the relevant button, the app goes full screen. "

          Noooooo no no no no no no, that's not quite true, is it? You click the fullscreen button, it does a pointless animation (Lion is very fond of those) and you end up in a completely enclosed version of fullscreen where you have to do needless clicking just to get at the bloody menu, and the dock isn't available even on auto-hide.

          And never mind that this super-amazing-wow fullscreen capability requires apps to be modified in order to support it - are you kidding me?? All that was required was a simple button that made the window expand to fill the available space - a maximise button. But Apple couldn't have that, as it wouldn't be different enough, so they took the most basic proposition and overblew it as much as they possibly could. It might seem minor, but it's the sheer pointlessness of requiring applications to update just to support a needlessly flashy window transition that brasses me off. That isn't "revolutionary" design, it's fucking around. And sliding between fullscreen apps? Wow, you've invented the virtual desktop switcher...

          The real question is: why did it take 7 revisions of OSX to get such a function? I can't think of another windowing system I've ever used that is lacking something so idiotically basic. Perhaps their next amazing, revolutionary addition to the system will be lock-sodding-screen. Perhaps they can have the OS play a fecking waltz before a huge padlock animation plays, and unlocking will require a new and totally intuitive touchpad gesture, like wiping your nose on it.

          Grrrrrrr Lion pissed me off. All flash, no substance, 100% Apple. Truth is, as a practical, useful windowing system OSX is a piece of shit, massively overrated and fawned over, and it was left far, far behind by other systems many years ago.


          1. Law

            Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

            *claps solidly smiling proudly* Finally... somebody else said it. I really regret upgrading to Lion for all those reasons and more. (Launchpad, reversing the scrolling direction, hiding my scrollbars, incompatibilities with NTFS software I'd been using, time machine gaffs, to nam a few more).

            These days, the only thing I'm really missing in Windows 7 that OSX provides is multiple virtual desktops (though work are kind enough to provide multiple monitors, so I have several real desktops instead)... and possibly Adium... love that application.

            1. kain preacher

              Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

              If you have an ATI video card you can enable virtual desktops

          2. ThomH

            Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

            Fact check:

            (1) you don't need to click to bring up the menu bar, just mouse up to where the menu bar normally is;

            (2) the dock does appear available on auto-hide, just mouse down to where the dock normally is.

            Other comments:

            • exactly as on every other desktop in the world, not every app can go full screen. I wouldn't agree that having a flag to indicate whether an app can go fullscreen and giving it a default value of 'off' given that fullscreen wasn't previous available is "the stupidest implementation"; I'd rather say it was exactly the correct implementation.

            • part of your argument appears to be that the implementation is broken because it took seven iterations to appear. I'm not sure that stands up to logical inspection, though if it helps then it actually took almost thirty years to appear since the classic OS didn't have a full-screen option either. Which presumably means that the implementation that did appear is even worse?

            Naturally I appreciate you'll get upvotes and I'll get downvotes because the audience here is anti-establishment and I'm defending a hugely profitable and hugely arrogant company that is often harmful to the industry.

            1. Law

              Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

              "Naturally I appreciate you'll get upvotes and I'll get downvotes because the audience here is anti-establishment"

              Not so - even though I agreed with the premise of Lion sucking (compared to snow leopard), you also made valid points (I don't use auto-hide dock though) - so I up-voted you both. :)

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 8 too

        "he stupidest implementation of fullscreen apps I've ever seen in my life, a raft of bugs, and not much else."

        Sounds like Jobs being gone is already having an affect.

    3. Chris 3

      Re: Windows 8 too

      It's not just MS that is going in for this monochrome idiocy. Have you looked at the icons in your Finder Window sidebar recently? Or the ones in iTunes. What is it with the War On Chroma?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two points:

    Point #1: I think there's some redundancy in the headline: it could just as easily be

    Coder's "lives sucked out" by Visual Studio.

    Point #2: Why not use Eclipse?

    1. Dirk Vandenheuvel

      Re: Two points:

      Because VS is vastly superior maybe?

    2. Irongut

      Re: Two points:

      Because Eclipse is the biggest pile of shite I've had to use since Turbo Pascal for Windows?

    3. h4rm0ny

      Re: Two points:

      Eclipse is a hideous mess, that's why.

      Regarding the new VS look, I don't mind the icon cut-out style but it would be better with colour. But PLEASE stop using those hideous little rows of dots in toolbars and headings. They look like a design from Windows 3.1. Can't stand them!

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two points:

      Eclipse C++ Tooling is utter sh..excrement. It might be Ok for Java, though.

      1. Chad H.

        @ Wombat

        Wouldnt that make them two of a kind?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Wombat

          For some purposes such as quickly creating an ugly corporate data analysis app it might be the right tool. Real developers would use Perl for that, though.

    5. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Two points:

      Eclipse CDT is a pile of shiiiiiiiiit.

  9. csumpi


    What respectable coder clicks on colorful UI buttons instead of using a shortcut? Or displays toolbars to waste screen space?

    1. Shady

      Re: wussies

      Carry on using Vi then, Linus! (had one too many at lunch)

      1. admiraljkb

        Re: wussies

        @Shady - No no no. Obviously you had too many, and meant to say EMACS! :)

        (the old standby for how to create a usenet flamewar: VI vs EMACS)

        1. Anonymous Coward 15

          vi vs emacs?

          JOE ftw.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: wussies

      I'm with you on the toolbars but there's too many shortcuts to remember and MS seem to change and/or remove them every now and again.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: shortcuts

        Ah, now what you want for that is a UI that combines popup availability with descriptive text (rather than screen clutter and pictorial guesswork). For added ease of use, you could navigate it by holding down Alt+whatever, where whatever is a letter that is underlined in the descriptive text.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wussies

      Visual Studio vs Emacs vs VI

      Interestingly, I routinely use all 3. I probably know the most keyboard commands for Emacs. I like Visual Studio the most. And I'm forced to use VI when I need an editor to open quickly on UNIX. Why do I like and dislike each one:

      Visual Studio. Good editor. Keyboard shortcuts are good, but having everything on toolbars means you don't have to remember every keyboard shortcut. Integration with debugger and build environment far better than anything I've seen on UNIX.

      Emacs. Good editor. Keyboard shortcuts are obscure, and some of the functionality for copy/paste etc. is decidedly weird. Takes forever to start up. Building anything production on top of LISP is just dumb since even compiled it takes forever to run. Had problems with things like line number display since it is a bunch of hacked up LISP - this sort of stuff should just work.

      VI. Ok editor. Far too cryptic for keyboard shortcuts. Really useful for quickly editing something on a UNIX box where you don't have Emacs open.

      Eclipse. Disaster of a tool. Just doesn't work for C++.

  10. Dirk Vandenheuvel

    Just make sure the icons can be changed easily and I am sure some cool guys will have a whole set of awesome icons 1 day after release. Nuff said.. case closed.

    1. Semaj
      Thumb Down

      The Bethesda Excuse

      "Modders will fix it" is just arrogance.

      The fact is that the majority of users of anything stick with the default set up even if they hate it. They just complain more, which makes the product look bad.

      Bethesda can get away with it because they have enough hype for apologists to rescue them. Microsoft don't have that luxury.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: The Bethesda Excuse

        The reason Bethesda create such excellent modding tools is because they know that RPG nerds are the pickiest, whiniest, most easily offended bunch of nerds on the gaming nerd spectrum. They know they can't possibly please all of them, so they let you mod the shit out of it until it is pixel-perfect to your exacting specifications.

        Signed, an RPG nerd.

    2. Chad H.

      Yes But...

      Bethesda still provide a reasonable enough out of the box experience to be usable with the core product.

  11. Shady

    When I tried the VS11 beta...

    ...I felt like I'd just upgraded from my Amstrad PCW 8256.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    real coders use notepad

    that is all

    1. Tim Parker

      Re: real coders use notepad

      Real coders wouldn't touch notepad from behind a bunker wall with someone else's on a ten-foot pole - even if it was installed on their OS.

      1. admiraljkb

        Re: real coders use notepad

        ummm I use Notepad++ for shell scripting activities.

        Notepad can DIE DIE DIE.

        1. Cave Dweller

          Re: real coders use notepad

          Ah, Notepad++. I used to swear by it, and still use it for writing shaders.

          However, I have been using Sublime Text 2 for a few months now, and I can't go back. Shame it's not free, but worth every penny (and you can evaluate it for as long as you need).

    2. Dirk Vandenheuvel

      Re: real coders use notepad

      I thought real programmers used : Copy Con > Program.exe

      1. ChrisM

        Re: real coders use notepad

        Really? i thought they used magnetised needles and a steady hand....

        1. Gazareth

          Re: real coders use notepad

          Nope, butterflies.

    3. Alister

      Re: real coders use notepad

      Nope, you're all wrong, real coders use front panel switches

    4. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: real coders use notepad

      Real programmers write their own editor which sucks a lot less than Notepad (I remember when Notepad choked on files >64K as not only did my sources but also some of my offline emails exceed that size).

      Seriously, waving a magnet over unrolled tape would be a friendlier way to code than using bloody Notepad...

    5. Law
      Paris Hilton

      Re: real coders use notepad

      For some reason I was shocked at all the negative comments about notepad++... then realised you mean't actual "notepad", that POS that MS pushes in every version of Windows, not the awesome lightweight, free (as in beer and speech) and just pretty darned sweet source editor.

      1. admiraljkb

        Re: real coders use notepad

        @Law - Yeah, I ignore Notepad as well. Notepad++ rocks (if on Windows anyway)!

        1. Spoonsinger

          Re: real coders use notepad

          Use 'debug' to write their own editor before starting work.

          1. Anonymous Coward 15

            Re: real coders use notepad

            Real coders spend 29 hours a day down t'mill, pay t'mill owner for permission to come to work, etc.

  13. Bassey

    MS's Big Mistake

    Microsofts big mistake was to try and impose change on developers. Everyone in IT knows developers are there to impose unwanted change on others - but god have mercy on the soul of anyone who tries to do it to them. WE DON'T LIKE CHANGE.

    MS had done some half-arsed studies to justify the change but, of course, we all know that, in reality, some marketing bod had asked what they could do to polish it up, give it a visual make-over etc and some tit fresh out of UI design school with a "Cool" idea suggested mono-chrome. The study was just there to confirm a decision that had already been taken.

    Of course, back in the real world, programmers use keyboard shortcuts for 90% of the stuff they do so the UI makes feck-all difference to them.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: programmers use keyboard shortcuts

      I've not yet adapted to losing the Alt key to Windows and the way it made classic Brief editor modes completely unusable. Luckily in JED I can choose and I choose to disable all the Windows UI features completely so I can keep the key bindings. In Microsofts software it's always the key bindings that make way for the GUI features I don't need. Keybindings my muscle memory has deeply ingrained :(

      On a different angle, I'm happy to use different binds for different tasks, if only because there aren't enough key combinations to comfortably (or optimally) cover editing and debugging. Monolithic piles like VS always made that difficult to do well (or at all).

    2. stanimir

      Re: MS's Big Mistake

      >>90% of the stuff they do so the UI makes feck-all difference to them.

      Yet, the UI still does annoy the shizz out of them

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Spoonsinger

    I got a theory,

    and that is - MS wants out of the consumer space. So they make the next version of windows unusable, and pee off anybody left who might of wanted to develop for it. Just a theory.

    1. DF118

      Re: I got a theory,

      Might HAVE wanted. Strewth.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I got a theory, that its a demon - a dancing demon... oh no something isn't right here.

      Once more with feeling people!

      1. DF118

        Re: I got a theory, that its a demon - a dancing demon... oh no something isn't right here.

        Bunnies, bunnies, it must be bunnies! ...or maybe midgets.

  16. Bob 18

    Mac or FORTRAN?

    Looks like they're trying to catch the cool that is all the rage at Apple these days. Unfortunately, they don't have the designers that Apple has, or the cool cachet. Instead, they mistakenly send developers back to the land of FORTRAN 77 --- all-caps and Black-and-White.

    It would be funny, if it weren't a company the size of Microsoft doing it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mac or FORTRAN?

      Apple's also been ignoring interface designers for quite some time now. If it's not the horrible faux-reality interfaces of the new Address Book or the Calendar, it is (as the article says) the colour-vampire interfaces that have been foisted users with the grey-on-grey-with-grey-highlights favoured by iTunes. Apple have also produced some pretty nasty 'professional' interfaces in products like Aperture and Final Cut which can only be described as 'Depressing'. Frankly they both need to be taken out and recreationally beaten to death with a shovel.

  17. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    punters fear they'll have to learn how to use the new version from scratch because it's so dissimilar to past editions.

    It's consistent with Office then.

    “Color and contrast are good. No reason to go hotdog stand with the color schemes" - Geoff

    Hotdog stand colours, gawd, how I'd love such a simple set of colours, red, yellow, blue etc. The ‘Colour schemes themes' in Office are puke awful. As one of my business users said to me recently, "that bit of the document that you highlighted in.. er... em... What is that colour" (On screen it looked like a definite red/orange colour, but when printed it as a washed out puke shade of terracotta).

    Way to go MickySoft.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge


      "On screen it looked like a definite red/orange colour, but when printed it as a washed out puke shade of terracotta"

      Hmm, sounds like someone's screen and printer colour settings are not in agreement. That's hardly M$s fault.

      1. DF118

        Re: WYSIWYG?

        Also, last time I checked, it was impossible to print fluoro colours without fluoro ink. Mind you, terracotta is a little bit of a departure.

      2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        Re: WYSIWYDG?

        Hmm, sounds like someone's screen and printer colour settings are not in agreement. That's hardly M$s fault.

        Lets seeeeee....

        Settings --> Printers & faxes --> select printer --> Options --> Color Management

        Can't change anything, locked out by admin, but look at what they have set as the default:-

        Automatic Color Profile - "Windows will automatically select the best color profile from the list of associated color profiles (recommended)"

        You were saying......

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hotdog stand?

      I believe there was a colour scheme named something like that in Windows 3.1. Enjoy your brutal eyerape.

  18. qwarty

    cones and rods

    Personal preference, I like a more subtle approach to use of colour in UI even to the extent of being a fan of assertive black and white or grayscale styles where it is effective. But even for me, VS11 beta has gone way off tangent. Given the style weeks to see if grows on me, so easy to simply react thoughtlessly to change. Familiarity hasn't helped. Toolbar and solution explorer lose important structure without colour IMO.

    If this was just an experiment fine, but lack of choice of a colour theme in the release would be a mistake.

    And please, someone come up with a better icon for save than a 1980s disk icon.

  19. Steve Evans

    Ring ring...

    Apple's lawyers are on the phone, they want a word with MS about the theft of their original Mac's colour palette.

    1. Adam T

      Re: Ring ring...

      You don't have to make a joke about the old days to get an Apple reference in there - Apple recently started sucking the colour out of their applications starting with iTunes. Perhaps MS noticed and took it as the next big thing.

      Personally I like minimalism, but this is retarded. Nothing wrong with the current MSStudio icons. They could be better drawn maybe, but at least you know what they are.

  20. Furbian

    Lack of change (consistancy), the only reason to stick to M$.

    Well that's it, it's the backwards compatibility, it runs games, and that M$ do provide a coherent development environment which keep people with them.

    Remove those and even diehards like me, with M$ since Win 3.11 will jump ship.

    Metro is one giant leap in the wrong direction, now messing with the development environment could be the last straw. 'Could be', because I've played with GWT and Eclipse and they are simply not up to scratch yet. However Ruby-on-Rails looks interesting..

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So it's the IDE for an early 80's Apple Mac environment?

    Funny. I thought Macintosh's supported color these days.


    Are you trying to be compatible with some IBM *mainframe* app from the 1960's?

    tell me people did not have to *pay* to download this PoS.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: So it's the IDE for an early 80's Apple Mac environment?

      People did not have to pay to download this PoS.

      Well, not directly. Obviously they won't be getting back however much of their life they wasted trying it out.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they are listening, they are not listening to the right people. They prefer the "organized" chords over simple keyboard shortcuts.

    On the other hand, regardless of colors, this is a version that will only be of interest to those who need the newest features. Some projects will use it, but most projects won't need the cost of a new version added to the budget.

    They seem to think that developers will never switch platforms so they are chanting "marketing, marketing, marketing" instead of "developers, developers, developers"

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear god, who thought that was a god idea O.O find them and kill them now, looks like some kind of crap kdevelop theme you'd install if your pc monitor had teleported itself from the 1980s.

    I mean I've seen those kinds of things, you sit there and try to put together your perfect desktop envionrment and for a split second you look at the black/white scheme and think "yeah that look pretty, oh wait no it doesn't it looks fucking shit!" And then we move on, never to do that again until the next time we think "hey maybe this will look, Oh no still crap!"

  24. Christian Berger

    Why should Microsoft care?

    The people who aren't stuck with Windows for things like "vendor lock-ins" have left years ago. The rest doesn't care what they are using.

    So Microsoft can either drop the old Win32 ecosystem and build a new one, or will be stuck maintaining that forever. We are talking about ecosystems here. The API is just a condensation point. The other main parts are the users and the developers. The move towards Metro is the user end of that, the changes on Visual Studio tries to get rid of the developers.

  25. Ed Courtenay

    I was dubious at first...

    Unlike most of the commenters here (I suspect), I've actually tried the new IDE - and after my initial reaction of "bloody hell, this is vile" I found that the new washed out colour scheme worked really well; the focus of colour where it's important (the code window) meant that was where my attention was directed most of the time. I have to admit it took a couple of days to acclimatise myself to it, but (and YMMV) it was very comfortable to work in.

    However, the ALL-CAPS titles drove me nearly to distraction. That *has* to change.

  26. Chad H.

    Any chance

    We can have a screenshot (rather than just black and white text) so we can point and laugh... I err mean see for ourselves?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    OS To The Rescue

    This might be a good occasion for developers to leave the MFC dungeon. See this: (wx widgets are excellent !) (brings back the memories of TurboPascal 3)

    As an added bonus, your software will be very portable (Mac, Windows, some phones), if you don't use Windows-specific stuff such as the registry.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: OS To The Rescue

      On the other hand, one could point out that there's nothing new in VS2011 *except* Metro support, so you could kill two birds with one stone by sticking with VS2010.

  28. William Hinshaw

    Bob 2 is going everywhere

    LOL Bob 2 is being pushed to every corner of Microsoft now. Really they should just wait to see how bad it will nose dive Windows 8 before pushing it everywhere.

  29. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    So will this new IDE work on my old Hercules card?

    Just a thought

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: So will this new IDE work on my old Hercules card?

      Not if you're using a green screen :D

  30. JeffyPooh

    If only...

    If only the machines that this software application runs upon were, in some way, programmable. One could imagine a world where the human operator, using some sort of graphical user interface, could somehow malipulate some, oh, let's call them "settings" or "preferences", where various option could be available.

    In other words, 'ALL OF THE ABOVE' should be the default answer to such design questions.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: If only...

      Yeah but as with ClearType they'd just ignore your preferences unless you used an undocumented feature:

      But if they found you using that they'd just take it away in the next version like they did with Office 2k10.


  31. Kev99 Silver badge

    MS ignores users. Again

    Once more the coders think they know better how a product is used or going to be used than the actual end users. It seems that in 90% of the cases, there is absolutely no concern over what the end user is actually doing. MS is well known for this, most recently with its questionable Metro interface. And coder wonder why I get upset when something doesn't work they it did in a previous version or as required by law.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: MS ignores users. Again

      "Once more the marketing department think they know better how a product is used or going to be used than the actual end users."

      There. Fixed it for ya...

  32. MS Rocks

    I am with the one other person here who has actually used VS11.....

    And I like the new changes. They do take a few days to get used to but I now prefer the UI to VS2010.

    1. Dante

      Re: I am with the one other person here who has actually used VS11.....

      ....and as another; It's too painful to use - as I spend my life in VS I'll need a employment perk of a constant stream of painkillers for the headaches!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am with the one other person here who has actually used VS11.....

      You like these changes like...Ribbon GUI ?

  33. Simon Jones [MSDL]
    Thumb Down

    I've used VS 11 Beta

    I like nearly all the improvements EXCEPT the grey colour scheme and the ALL CAPS headings.

    The icons are very difficult to distinguish because they are just dark grey on grey. You can hardly tell if they are enabled or disabled, you certainly can't tell what they are meant to do unless you hover on them to read the tooltip.

    The ALL CAPS headings are shouty and harder to read than Mixed Case. If they just want to use typography to distinguish headings then bold would have been a better choice than ALL CAPS.

  34. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "Chording" ? Block caps titles? B&W color scheme?

    It's a little appreciated fact that the reason that Windows (prior) to 3.0 did not allow overlapping windows was because Xerox's UI research *said* it was inefficient.

    It seems MS have now moved on and had a go at implementing the editor that Bell Labs designed for Plan 9, one of whose ideas was to see what happens when you assume mice are *everywhere* rather than a special order item (and the terminal supports them). IIRC this was 3 button job and (bit like the one on the Alto PC at Xerox) used chording, *again* because UI research indicated it was more efficient (I can't remember if keyboard short cuts even *exist* in this), allowing you to do more powerful "stuff" for the same effort *provided* you're put in the effort to learn the moves (and accept Windows is your *sole* development environment).

    Bell Labs editor does not seem to be used much outside of their environment.

    1. qwarty

      Re: "Chording" ? Block caps titles? B&W color scheme?

      Overlapping application windows were introduced in Windows 2.0, the tiled interface only appeared in Windows 1.x.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When MS has no real new features to Market...

    ... it just pays to be controversial.

  36. CraigW

    The story of a beta install.

    1). Install VS 11 trial to see what the fuss is about.

    2). Laugh.

    3). Realise they were serious. Cry.

    4). Uninstall.

    5). Realise the VS 2010 icons are now horrible, monochrome VS 11 icons. Cry again.

    6). Realise BIDS (2008) will no longer open SSIS packages. Begin to plot revenge.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The story of a beta install.

      Yeah, isn't Windows a wonderful "professional" environment ? Seems more like a toy.

    2. Law

      Re: The story of a beta install.

      I may install it after Easter and have an easy week just setting up my dev box again instead of writing any actual code... thanks for the tip! :)

      1. CraigW

        Re: The story of a beta install.

        And re-installing BIDS didn't fix it either. Oh, and it also broke the Entity Framework design tools in VS 2010!

        It's a complete f***ing disaster of a product.

  37. DrXym

    Microsoft really are going backwards

    Everyone knows that colour and shape help icons recognizable and distinct. It seems that Microsoft have forgotten that recently. Windows Phone and Metro force nearly everything to the same bland monochrome on colour tile scheme. Some of their tiles buck the trend but it's depressing and confusing that most of them don't.

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