Visual Studio 2010 Beta1 Released!

It’s official:  Visual Studio 2010 Beta1 has shipped!  Check out this page for the official product information or download it (free!) here.

So what’s new for the Editor in Beta1?  We’ve made significant improvements since the CTP, including better stability and easier extension development.  You’ll also notice the return of many of your favorite features:

  • The redesigned Code Outlining feature that the Editor team and VS General Manager Jason Zander blogged about over the past few weeks

  • The Track Changes margin, which uses colors to show the changes made in your file

  • Drag & Drop code editing, copying, and pasting

  • RTF cut/copy/paste, which allows RTF formatting to persist on copying and pasting text into another application

  • Incremental Search (Ctrl+I), which refines your search terms as you type them

  • Visible Whitespace (Ctrl+E, Ctrl+S), which shows visual glyphs for different types of whitespace, e.g. dots for spaces, arrows for tabs

  • A new default font, Consolas, specifically designed for working with code

And that’s just the Editor.  In the VS 2010 Beta, your window layout is more customizable than ever with floating document tabs and expanded multi-monitor support in the VS Shell.  You can search for project templates, find new templates online, and download content from the revamped New Project Dialog.  You can even use the new Extension Manager to download extensions from within Visual Studio and publish any extensions you write.  The list of improvements goes on and on – for more details about what’s new for Beta1 in VS Platform and beyond, take a look at JasonZ’s screenshot-filled blog post.

Now that Beta1 is available for download, there are a few frequently-asked questions:
Q:  Is it ‘safe’ to install VS 2010 Beta1 on my machine?
A:  Yes!  We’ve tested side-by-side scenarios, so installing the beta on a machine with VS 2008 installed is fine.  The beta also supports uninstall and should leave VS 2008 and your machine in working order afterward.  You can install VS 2010 Beta1 on a VPC if you prefer, though you will notice slower performance than if you run VS on your local machine.  And please remember that however you install, this is pre-release software.  The VS 2010 Beta1 readme documents major known issues, but it’s not guaranteed to be an exhaustive list.

Q:  Can I install on Windows 7?
A:  Yes!  Installation of VS 2010 Beta1 on the Windows 7 RC is supported, so go right ahead.  We don’t recommend installing Beta1 on the Windows 7 beta, though, so please upgrade to the Win7 RC before installing VS 2010.

Q:  Is there a VS 2010 SDK?
A:  Yes!  It’s available for download here.  I highly recommend the SDK, as it includes a lot of additional documentation and sample code.  It’s a great place to get started with Editor extensibility.

Once you’ve downloaded the VS 2010 Beta, we’d love to hear from you!  You can post feedback on the Beta1 forums or file a bug for any problems you find.  And as always, you can contact the Editor team directly by posting a comment or using the Email link.  No matter how you do it, I hope you’ll let us know what you think.

Enjoy the Beta!

Brittany Behrens
Program Manager, VS Platform Team

Comments (5)

  1. Peter says:

    After playing with the beta for a bit here are my impressions:

    1) Feels and is slower than 2008 🙁

    2) The editor itself is surprisingly OK.

    3) The new UI feels ancient in some places. If I resize the space between the solution explorer and the properties window I see visual artifacts; not good.

    4) The top menu is slower than 2008. All this UI sloweness takes me back to the early Java days when the UI was painfully slow.

    5) Can I have my plus / minus in the SE and the lines that went with it. When you have a large solution is hard to track the indentation. Thanks.

    Sorry to say, that while it may have potential, as it is now is a step back not forward.

  2. Joe says:

    I really love VS2010 but there is a show-stopper bug for me so I am back to using VS2008 TS for the time being.

    The bug is the background color not saving and I have to fix it every single time I open Visual Studio. This might not be that big of a deal for some people but I work on multiple projects during the day and open/close VS or have multiple copies running quite often.

  3. VSEditor says:

    Peter – In response to your comments:

    1.)  We know that performance is currently an issue, and it’s one of our top priorities between now and the final release of VS 2010.

    2.)  Thank you!

    3.)  This isn’t an area the editor owns, but I’ve passed your feedback on to the Shell team.

    4.)  See #1 – this scenario is part of a larger effort to improve performance.

    5.)  The look of the solution explorer is not likely to change.  Here’s how Jason Zander responded to this question in comments on his blog:  "One of our goals is to be a well behaved Windows application including following the themes. you will see the same outlining mode for things like tree views, but we made the changes to the editor."

    Joe – This is a known bug, and I’m sorry to hear it’s a show-stopper for you.  Please check back here soon for a post on known Editor issues and any workarounds, as we’re working on a possible mitigation for this bug.  It’s not done yet, though, so no promises 🙂

    – Brittany

  4. Russ Painter says:

    Is it possible to change the whitespace glyphs to something more subtle?  I like to have this on all the time, but the arrows are just way too big now.

  5. VSEditor says:

    Russ – We’ve heard this feedback from several people, including Beta1 users and internal Microsoft folks.  I agree that the visible whitespace in Beta1 is too heavy and makes it harder to read code.  We’re planning to revert to VS 2008-style glyphs for the next release of VS 2010 to make visible whitespace subtler and less intrusive than it currently is.

    In the meantime, there’s an extension available on called "Reasonable Visible Whitespace" that you might want to try (with the caveat that it’s not from Microsoft and we weren’t involved in its creation, so use at your own risk).  Just download it and make sure it’s enabled in Tools->Extension Manager, and you should see a lighter version of visible whitespace.  Here’s the link:

    – Brittany