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I like the fact that 2012 feels much faster than 2010, but I doubt that's because they made the UI near-monochrome.
That being said, I find it noticeably more difficult to use for two related reasons. One, I'm not a massive user of keyboard shortcuts. I use the frequent ones (saving files, cut/paste lines of code, etc.), but for the stuff I don't use on a daily basis? I'm not filling up my memory buffer with those shortcuts. Which means when I need to do one of those rare things, I have to hunt for an icon on a toolbar. At a resolution of 2560x1440 with my eyesight, color became a major identifying factor for those icons.
It's just as bad, maybe worse than 2010. So I'm still working with VS 2008 (on windows 8 pro)..
Some features are simply broken/not working in VS 2010-2012. The loss of productivity when trying to use 2012 is just ridiculous. And believe me, I tried hard, and still try on occasion; but always end up doing internet searches to find out WHY those features don't work. Mainly Edit & Continue, which lost all it's purpose from 2010 and up.
I find 2012 to be tolerable now. Once I added the theme editor extension, removed the loud menus, and added a couple extensions that I've long been dependent of in VS2010. Basically, made 2012 act and feel a little more like 2010..
As mentioned, the SQL integration is convenient. The other little touches and improvements to intellisense are welcome. The bland icons with their afterthought colors I could live without but it's not nearly the nails on a chalkboard that the loud menus became for me. The icons aren't as lame when your not blasted with screenfuls of drab grays and white.
Once you get past the distraction of all the GUI changes made for their own agenda for our own benefit, I accept it as a fair toolbox upgrade for writing code for the next dead in 2-5 years technology. It has worked well for my projects so far and I've mitigated most of the my productivity killing distractions. I look forward
I still see it as change for the sake of change from the softies. The Windows, Office, Mobile teams all got drastic UI changes (for better or worse) so the VS team I'm sure was pressured to change.. Too bad that's the best they could come up with. VS2016 will just be the re-branded version of TouchDevelop.
I think everyone's complaints about Visual Studio 2012 are somewhat over the top. VS 2012 is fine and if the only thing people have to complain about are the lack of color and the capitalized headings than that is pretty small-time.
Maybe the complainers should all work with the tools in the Java world. Than they would have something to complain about...
Steve Naidamast Black Falcon Software, Inc. email@example.com