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Screenshots of Visual Studio 2010 with WPF UI

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Jason Zander, General Manager of Visual Studio, posted the first screenshots of Visual Studio 2010 where WPF is used to render the Visual Studio UI. Users will be able to try this for themselves in Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 coming later this year.

As covered by InfoQ earlier, using WPF in Visual Studio has gotten mixed responses from the public. Rico Mariani, Chief Architect of Visual Studio, asks:

If you put VS2008 side by side with say VC98 they would certainly look different.  But, even though they are different, could your mom tell you which one was made in 1998?

The Visual Studio team found that using WPF would give both Visual Studio and WPF some benefits and challenges. Rico says that there will be some problems they need to solve, but at the same time says who is better to solve these problems that them. To the critics he says:

Do you really think GDI is the last word in computer graphics for the next 10 years?

Here’s one of the screenshots Jason blogged showing the UI in action:

Visual Studio 2010 UI

Jason lists some of the changes that have been done:

  • Reduced clutter and visual complexity by removing excessive lines and gradients in the UX and modernized the interface by removing outdated 3D bevels
  • Placed focus on content areas by opening negative space between windows and drawing attention to the current focus with a dominant accent color and a distinctive background
  • Added an inviting new palette to make VS 2010 more distinctive

One of the requested features in Visual Studio has been floating documents, so that developers can have windows on multiple monitors while coding. With the new UI this will be possible.

Visual Studio 2010 UI Floating Documents

In addition to the UI changes there are several other areas that have been improved. Examples are new support for outlining, new project dialog with online template viewing and a new Extension Manager.

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