Leave VS 2010 theme (and the theme editor extension) as an option
When you came out with the VS 2010 theme, you said that it allowed you to focus on the code windows. The benefit that the theme provided hasn't changed, so please allow that theme to stay in VS 11, as well as the "Color Theme Editor" extension by Matthew Johnson (http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/20cd93a2-c435-4d00-a797-499f16402378) so those that want to tweak or even choose another theme can do so. Please don't force us to use a "metro style" theme (even if you add some color). You worked so hard to create a good looking 2010 theme, don't throw it away...that would be such a waste.
If you allow VS 11 to not look Metro, it doesn't mean your new Metro apps will lose traction. If you feel you have to make Studio look Metro to persuade Metro app development, then that would mean there's a self-confidence problem.
I’m going to mark this as completed so you can get your votes back – note that Matthew Johnson has released a VS 2012 color theme editor as you requested (link below) – I know it doesn’t have everything you requested in this idea, but hopefully this helps to address your feedback.
Doug Turnure – Visual Studio PM
I have using VS 2012 since it developer preview. I am not liking this new grayish theme. It is so much difficult to find out the grayed out item and not grayed out item. Color contrast is not good.
Please provide the VS 2010 based theme for VS 2012 so that we don't need to put effort to learn a new UI or at least create a well contrast based theme.
Since it has become apparent that the VS team is unwilling or unable to make a proper VS 2012 theme, I'd really appreciate the VS 2010 theme as an option. The visuals were the least of an issue in VS 2010.
The market differentiator that made Microsoft succeed above all competitors was the ability to personalize the user experience.
Petr Vones commented
Visual Studio is multi-language and multi-target developer tool. It is not a designer for limited Metro-style applications only !
I don't understand why it is supposed to look so horrible, especially on different systems than Windows 8. It is supposed to look native on particular system.
I'm investigating whether is possible to get a refund for remaining MSDN subcription because you've made product which is almost useless for its original purpose I bought the subscription for.
In the new version it is definately much ****** to distinguish between buttons and toolbars and to find the right spot for drags and drops. This is not even Metro. This is one big Grey window that distracts from coding because it continuously challenges you to find the right spots to click.
@Anonymous: Well I can say we generally updgrade for one of two reasons: a) Added functionality such as support for newer frameworks, and b) Greater usability which includes things like theUI. At this time we're quite content with .Net 3.5 and VS2010 functionality, and so that leaves the usability, which sadly, VS2012RC lags behind in due to the horrid UI. In any event we're an enterprise organization and are starting to investigate alternative IDEs in the event Microsoft doesn't fix this mess and provide something like a VS2010 theme.
Jesse McGrew commented
@Anonymous: Earning your living with MS tools doesn't have to mean using the *very latest* MS tools. Companies that don't subscribe to MSDN may decide it's not worth spending hundreds of dollars per seat on this "upgrade" when 95% of their engineers don't want to use it.
I don't think Microsoft is going to lose many developers over this bland and depressing UI because hey most of us earn our living with MS tools. That said, it's going to be a bad position for MS to go from developers saying "I love working with Visual Studio" to "I don't like it but I have to work with VS".
Matthew Zaleski commented
Let's put it this way: If they don't include a VS2010 theme, Microsoft will be losing a LOT of developers. That will translate to less of those apps for the useless Win8 Metro desktop interface.
Please stop the Metro madness. Not EVERYTHING has to be metro. Please add a VS2010 theme.
Please do provide the VS 2010 theme, it's so much easier to use, in spite of what your UI experts have told you....
Give me VS2010 theme and fire the VS11RC designers.
I agree, until there is a VS2010 theme I will resist using VS 2012. The other thing I now can't live without are the scrollbar enhancements from the Productivity Power Tools extension. Don't know why these weren't included.
Larry Seals commented
After using the VS 2012 RC, I have to say that I think I'll stick with VS 2010 with some extensions. While I fixed the ALL-CAPS issues (thanks, Richard) I can't do anything about the icons or other monochrome junk. So yeah, if you can fix it so you can skin VS 2012 with the 2010 theme, then I'm all for it. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'll wait for VS 2014...
i really think the ui of VS11 Developer Preview was the best of all, they really ruined it in the Beta.
Lyndon White commented
This is a duplicate.