I see from Jason Zander’s blog that MSDN subscribers can download Visual Studio 2012 starting August 15th.
We’ll be officially in the Metro UI design era that bans gradients, rounded corners, shadows, and anything that looks rich or has texture. At the same time, it requires ALL CAPS in menus, plain blocks of a restricted set of colours and a drab, flat appearance. You’re seeing the theme on all MS web sites now - including the new Outlook.com. Oh well, styles come and go. Let’s hope this one goes sooner than later.
The Windows Metro UI is clearly a tablet-oriented UI that doesn’t tax the graphics card or use excessive resources. Pushing a boring, stark UI onto the desktop is a strange move. I suspect there’ll be a service pack or third-party utility to restore a traditional desktop look and feel to Windows 8 and boost corporate adoption.
However, as many have pointed out, if people continue to buy Windows 7 over Windows 8, Microsoft is in a win-win situation.