I can’t wait for a third-party to come out with tools to return some colour to the flat, monochrome look of Visual Studio 11 (beta).
What bugs me most are the icons. I feel like a newbie when I have to squint and analyze the shape of icons on the debugging toolbar just to get the one I want. (Fortunately, the meddlers didn’t mess with the keyboard commands so I’m not totally lost.)
Not sure what usability studies told MS that bland is better. Maybe it is for most people, but not for me. Gray, shades of gray and black. Ugh. And don’t get me started on the stupidity of using all-caps for window titles. Who approved that?
I see that there’s a UserVoice poll on the topic (http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/2623017-add-some-color-to-visual-studio-11-beta) but I doubt that anything will change Microsoft’s opinion in time for the release. Once a product gets to a stable beta, most non-crashing stuff gets pushed to the next version. I hope I’m proved wrong.
Fortunately, Visual Studio is quite customizable. Unless ‘Bland’ is hard-coded, some registry tweaks and a collection of replacement icons should allow dissenters like me back to productivity.
BTW, other than hating the UI, VS 11 beta is working quite well for me on a .NET 4 project.
Note: Although my username for the ASP.NET domain includes the letters "[MVP]", I'm no longer an MVP. Apparently it's nearly impossible to change a username in the system. My apologies for the misleading identifier but I tried to have it changed without success.