Visual Studio 11 Beta is now available


Today is a big day event for the Microsoft community, but not only for the developers. Microsoft have released early this morning Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. I installed it today on the Samsung tablet Microsoft provided to the BUILD attendees in September 2011. I didn’t find out how to install directly Windows 8 from the USB key, so I had to start it from the previous Windows 8 and then remove the old Windows. The installation is very fast, in less than 30 minutes, no manual action, I was on the new Metro interface. Yes I say new, because the interface is a bit different than the previous public version, it seems more smooth, clear.

Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

The next step was to install Visual Studio 11. It was, at my astonishment, a very fast installation, considering that Expression Blend 5 is part of the package. The first impression is, wow! On the tablet Windows 8, the theme of Visual Studio is very bright, and I don’t think I’ll like to develop anything on it.

VS11 LightIf you go to the menu Tools | Options, in the Environment part, you can set the theme you want to use for your interface. Basically you can choose between Light and Dark (I hope we will be able to add more theme in the final version). Let’s try to use the dark theme:

VS11 Dark

It looks like Expression Blend. What do you think? Live me you feeling about this new design of the interface. I like the dark theme so far, but if you look at the Solution Explorer, the icons are not very easy to distinguish. But I guess after using it more and more I’ll get used to it.


The last screenshot I would like to show you is the interface of Expression Blend 5 that is included in the installer of Visual Studio 11.