Announcing the Release Candidate (RC) of Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5

I’m happy to announce the Release Candidate of Visual Studio 2012, Team Foundation Server 2012, and .NET Framework 4.5. You can find these releases available for download on our Visual Studio product website.

In conjunction with today’s Visual Studio release, Windows has made available a Windows 8 Release Preview. Please visit the Building Windows 8 blog for the official announcement by Steven Sinofsky. You can download the Windows 8 Release Preview bits here.

The complete list of Visual Studio 2012 RC features is available on MSDN. In this post, I’ll summarize the updates we’ve made in Visual Studio 2012 RC, since the beta. Given where we are in the product cycle, these updates are primarily final touches on existing features, responses to beta customer feedback, and improvements to performance. I’ve recorded a video, so you can also see some of these updates in action.

What’s new in the RC since Beta

Logo & Branding

You’ll notice that we’ve updated our product branding from the “11” version number to the 2012 year. This means that the RTM version will release this calendar year!

You will also notice that we’ve updated our Visual Studio logo to the image below:



One of the first parts of the product you’ll experience is setup. We’ve enabled upgrade from beta to RC, so if you’re using the same product edition (e.g. Professional, Ultimate, etc.), you do not need to uninstall the beta first. Simply run the Visual Studio 2012 RC installer, which will uninstall the right Beta bits and lay down the RC bits, all at once. The only exception is if you’re running on Windows 8 – in that case, you need to first install the Windows 8 Release Preview and then install Visual Studio 2012 RC.

We’ve made some pretty significant investments in improving the setup experience in Visual Studio 2012 RC. Many of you have already seen the streamlined user interface in the beta. From beta to RC, we reduced the installation time by an additional 20%!

We also re-introduced customization into the product. We hope you’ll enjoy these improvements that should save you time and make it easier to get the right bits.


Visual Studio 2012 RC Setup customization UI


The performance work done between beta and RC was extensive and covers just about every aspect of the product. There were improvements in XAML (compiler, loading documents, and the design surface), debugging, editing large C++ files, Test Lab Management and the list goes on.

To give a few examples, we’ve put together some blog posts detailing the process in the team to identify, fix, and monitor these improvements. The first example we discussed was typing and editing responsiveness. I encourage you to read this post, where you can learn more about the internal performance tools, the product changes that were made, and the resulting impact on responsiveness. In the next post, we’ll cover performance improvements to the Toolbox.

User Interface

The RC includes a series of improvements to the overall UX, which were based on the beta user feedback. I encourage you to visit the Visual Studio team blog for a more comprehensive post with details on these changes.


Visual Studio 2012 RC light theme

After the Visual Studio team post on the above mentioned changes, we received requests for more information on the Visual Studio 2012 dark theme (a personal favorite). Earlier this week, we published a blog post with the roadmap for the dark theme, showing changes in the RC as well as others coming in RTM. I encourage you to take a look and see what’s in store ahead.


The IDE improvements in RC focus on responses to customer feedback, polishing features, and performance improvements.

We received feedback about the shared scope and options between Quick Find and Find-in-Files in the beta. Since then, we released an extension to help address this in the short term, and have now included that update in the RC release. With the RC, you can now perform a Quick Find without automatically changing the scope setting in Find-in-Files as well.

Solution Explorer is an example of an area where we made some tweaks to round out the experience and polish the feature in RC. We found that the Solution Explorer toolbar was overflowing, so we removed commands that already have other placements in the IDE (e.g. context menus, key bindings, menus) and don’t affect the solution view or project hierarchy.

For large solutions, it can be hard to find items in Solution Explorer. In the RC, we’ve introduced Solution Explorer filtering to help you scope to the relevant content and focus on whatever is important for your current task. This way, you can restrict Solution explorer to show just the files you're currently working with. The new filtering options include Pending Changes and Open Files, and can be found under the button shown below:


Finally, we improved the Quick Launch performance, so that search results are returned nearly instantaneously now.

Metro style apps

If you plan to build Metro style apps, make sure to install Visual Studio 2012 RC on a machine with the Windows 8 Release Preview. There are a number of enhancements for building Metro style apps in the RC release.

Metro style apps using XAML

First off, there are some new Metro style app templates, including a new Windows Runtime Component template for C# and VB developers, and a new DLL project template for C++ developers. There have also been improvements to the existing templates. For example, the templates now fully support keyboard and mouse navigation, in addition to touch. Furthermore, XAML support is now added to the Direct2D template. The XAML Blank App has also been simplified.

The Visual Studio XAML and Blend designers have been enhanced in the RC. You can now preview and edit the design of your Metro style app, for view states such as FullScreenLandscape, FullScreenPortrait, Filled, and Snapped. This is done through the Device panel, which automatically changes visual states when the View is changed.  Below you can see an example of the Snapped visual state.


Selecting “Enable state recording” (above) will enable changes made on the Design Surface or Property Inspector to alter the currently selected visual state rather than always making changes to Base.

Adding theme animations from the Animation library in your app’s visual states, is now easy to do using Blend’s visual state design feature. The Animation library is a suite of Metro style animations that has been built specifically to take advantage of the platform’s animation capability. These animations are used throughout Windows UI and are also available for your Metro app. Select the desired state in the States pane, then the storyboard in the Objects & Timeline to see the state storyboard’s properties, including Theme Animations as shown in the screenshot below.


There have been a number of performance improvements for Metro style apps using XAML. Examples include better support for IRandomAccessStream from .NET, more aggressively reclaiming memory upon Metro app suspend, and the introduction of .NET performance testing in the Windows App Certification Kit. We also enabled Multi-Core JIT for Metro style apps and improved the algorithm by which Metro style apps are optimized for performance with NGEN.

Metro style apps using JavaScript

When it comes to editing Metro style Javascript applications, Blend has introduced a host of new features for the RC release. One of these features is a new way to organize Winning Rule in the styles pane, and is called “Arrange by: Source” mode.  In this mode you can easily see where all of your element’s CSS properties come from.


We’ve also created editors for simplified editing of gradients and 2D transforms:


Finally, we put a lot of focus on productivity and refactoring gestures.  This includes context menus to quickly and easily edit classnames and create CSS rules from an elements ID or classnames.  It also includes the ability to cut, copy, paste and clear CSS properties in order to easily enable moving CSS properties in between CSS rules.


For more information on using the RC for Metro style app development, I recommend visiting the Windows 8 App developer blog for a summary of what’s new in the Windows 8 RP for developers, as well as BlendInsider for further details on Blend.


ASP.NET Web Forms has been updated to fully support the new async “await” keyword. Page events and control events can now be marked as “async” and utilize the new async support added in .NET 4.5”.

MVC 4 projects now include Entity Framework 5 which has full support for “migrations” allowing developers to keep their code and databases in sync as changes are made.


Enabling Database Migrations in ASP.NET MVC 4 via NuGet Console

ASP.NET MVC now also renders HTML 5 by default so when displaying the Person model the following HTML will be emitted now: id="BirthDate" name="BirthDate" type="datetime" value="5/31/2012 12:00:00 AM"

Web tools

If you’re doing web development, you’ll notice a handful of updates in the RC. First off, we’ve updated some of the project templates. We made the MVC4 Empty template truly empty, and renamed the original empty template to now be called the “Basic” template. We also improved the performance of the New Project creation time.


You’ll also notice some IDE improvements. For example, we now support the ability to run an app from Visual Studio in multiple browsers, through a more discoverable UI.


There’s a host of additional web tooling improvements. For example, HTML and CSS editor enhancements, including updated HTML5 IntelliSense and SVG support. We also updated the publish UI to support incremental database schema preview. The Page Inspector experience has been improved, such that we no longer add web.config appSettings key VisualStudioDesignTime:Enabled, as page inspector will work with server side code as long as it’s in debug mode. For more information on these updates, as well as the complete list of web improvements in Visual Studio 2012 RC, please visit the Web Development Tools blog.


For LightSwitch projects, there are several new features that we’ve lit up in RC. Last March, we published a preview of the LightSwitch Cosmopolitan Shell & Theme on the VS Gallery to give LightSwitch applications a more modern look-and-feel and corporate branding.  Since then, we’ve fixed a significant number of community reported visual bugs and improving readability (such as adding data grid lines). Based on the positive feedback, we’ve now made the Cosmopolitan Shell & Theme the default UI for new projects (shown below).


Another change that we made based on customer feedback was to add the application logo to the login screen for applications using forms authentication. It will show up once you deploy the application. Furthermore, we have significantly improved the performance of core data operations, which in turn improves many application scenarios (querying, paging, loading data in a list/grid, etc.). You can find more information about LightSwitch updates in RC on the LightSwitch team blog and Developer Center.

Team Foundation Server

There were a few updates to TFS since the beta. The first is the ability to use SQL backups of existing Team Foundation Server instances to create (upgrade) a new Team Foundation instance during the initial setup.  The second is the ability to automatically add new features to existing projects using older Team Project Templates when upgrading – this has been one of the most requested upgrade features for Team Foundation Server.

The Team Foundation Server team also improved the user interfaces with updates such as the ability to collapse/expand iterations in Team Web access and the addition of personal and favorite queries in pending changes – which makes it simple to drag and drop related work items to a pending checkin.


For more information on the TFS 2012 RC release, please visit Brian Harry’s blog.

Testing Tools

Most of the testing improvements in the RC focused around customer feedback on the beta, as well as a variety of performance and scalability improvements (for example, reducing the size of the output files from test runs and code coverage result).

Coded UI Features

Visual Studio 2012 RC includes a new feature for the analysis of Coded UI Test playback logs, which filters and logs important information for you in a more readable format. Using the actionable information in the Coded UI Test logs, you should able to debug issues more quickly. For example, here’s a picture of the new log, after running a Coded UI Test on a failure case:


Here, you can see a step by step view of all the actions and useful information that were captured by the new logger:


We’ve also made enhancements to the extensibility APIs for Coded UI, to better support integration of 3rd party controls.

Microsoft Test Manager

To make it even easier to get up and running using Microsoft Test Manager, we’ve integrated a Media Foundation based Video Recorder so you no longer have to install the Expression Encoder to create video recordings of your test cases.

Architectural Tools

In RC the Architecture Tools include new facilities for understanding the structural relationships between elements of the code. You can now use contextual commands on selected code elements in a dependency graph to find, for example, all the types derived directly or indirectly from another type, or the methods that call a selected method:

Find related code

You can also see what is causing a dependency link between higher level components (e.g. namespaces), by drilling into that link to see the contributing dependency links between subcomponents (e.g. types or methods):


On the UX side, it’s now possible to apply different layouts to the contents of individual group nodes, including a new “List View” compact layout:

Choose the layout of a group

“Go Live” License

As with the beta, Visual Studio 2012 RC ships with a “Go Live” license. This means that you can use the product to build apps that run in production. For more information on the “Go Live” terms and how to get support if you need it, please visit the Visual Studio 2012 RC website.

Related Resources

Here’s a list of related resources to help you get started with the RC:

Tell Us What You Think About the RC

As usual, we’re looking forward to hearing from you about your experience with the release. Please feel free to contact us through the following channels:


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Comments (120)

  1. djonik says:

    Very Nice!

  2. marcel de vries says:

    Looks like Single Page applications are now gone from the ASP.NET project options. Is that going to be an out of band release?

  3. Joe says:

    I can't tell you what I think about the RC since the web installer fails. I reported it.

  4. Anna Miller (Microsoft) says:

    @Joe; Can you please let me know which web installer you were using, and we'll investigate right away.



    DevDiv Release Mgmt

  5. LMK says:

    Just had to comment (yet again) on the disillusionment I feel looking at the latest VS RC… Every prior Visual Studio release has been something to look forward to; not this one. The fact that you have prioritised change for the sake of change over real improvements makes me absolutely livid, given that I spend a large proportion of each day using this tool.

    What is going on at Microsoft? Why are you panicking and trying to give us something trendy instead of something functional? You don't have to copy Apple and Google…

    You're lucky there are no decent competitors to VS (yet?). And I can still use good old crashes-once-an-hour VS2010.

  6. @joe; if you are having an issue with the web installer, I would like to understand it better and work with you to solve the issue.  Can you please follow the instructions on Heath's blog ( and send me (aaronru(a)microsoft_dot_com) a copy to the


    Aaron Ruckman

    Program Manager, Visual Studio Setup Team

  7. Juan says:

    My god. This UI is so bad that it hurts!

    I wont be able to look at it for 8 hours. Upper case menus? really? my god…

    I pass.

  8. Ahmed Osama says:

    Simple question, why UPPER CASE MENUS? it annoyed me 🙁

  9. I'll pass... says:

    8,000 people give feedback requesting them to leave the colorful icons, and to have more than just the Gmail gray and gothic black themes (all bland shades of gray).  This is the last time I take time to give them feedback…what a waste.

  10. Ugh says:

    What a terrible UI. It makes Xcode look clean and usable. And, why would you do that to the logo?

  11. Simon says:

    Slow (Create an MVC project? Slow.  Load a project from TFS? Slow.).  Terrible UI.  Buggy top left system menu (single/double clicking there didn't behave as expected and alt+space plus clicking on options on it totally broke).

    You've had too many opportunities to listen to your customers and ignored them, I'm going to skip this version and not renew my MSDN if there's not a new version out before I have to renew.  I'll still with VS2010 and try out some competing IDE's I think.

  12. Simon says:

    Slow (Create an MVC project? Slow.  Load a project from TFS? Slow.).  Terrible UI.  Buggy top left system menu (single/double clicking there didn't behave as expected and alt+space plus clicking on options on it totally broke).

    You've had too many opportunities to listen to your customers and ignored them, I'm going to skip this version and not renew my MSDN if there's not a new version out before I have to renew.  I'll still with VS2010 and try out some competing IDE's I think.

  13. Mark C. says:

    To get rid of the CAPS in the menu, go to Tools > Customize…, click on the Commands tab and use the Modify Selection option to change the name as required.

  14. Steve Fewster says:

    Would someone be able to confirm if this release supports the azure sdk please ?

  15. Vaccano says:

    This release is the "Lets-try-to-conscript-all-VS-developers-into-our-war-with-Apple-and-Google" release.

    Microsoft does not care that those who use this software to make a living are relying on them to produce good products.  Or that they are abusing the trust that they have been given.

    Nope, as long as they can get a few extra developers to fall in the pit of Win RT then they are fine with what ever casualties that causes.

    I have news for you Microsoft, a lot of the "Casual" and "Hobby" developers have a good relationship with us Professional developers.  And you have soured us so much that it is going to poison the well you are hoping to draw your profits from.

    If you had been kind to your Enterprise Developers (ie included XP support for C++ and .NET 4.5 or at least not make .NET a in-place upgrade) you may have seen a few of use even trying out Metro.

    But now, the only way I see getting support for Enterprise tooling back is if Win RT DIES!

    So that is what I am pushing for.  A quick death to Win RT.  

    Hopefully you will then abandon it (like you have so many other api sets) and get back to making good development tools.

  16. You're on a roll... says:

    You had the best looking logo in VS 2010…awesome looking…why did you change it for this garbage?  I guess it's in line with the other nonsense with this release, so you're on a roll.

  17. Adam says:

    Microsoft [no longer] listen to its developer base. The release does not deserve any attention and I sincerely hope that developers carefully consider support the train wreck.

  18. Tim says:

    Sorry for being negative, but the all caps menus are horrible. My eyes keep going to them. It is driving me nuts… And it's not just menus: they are priminant throught the GUI. Some I can manually rename, but others seem to be non-configurable. Please tell me that there is a global setting to fix this. Honestly, at this point, I am not sure if upgrading is really a viable choice anymore.

  19. LMK says:

    What happened to my Connect bug ID 727391? It was flagged as fixed, but definitely is not; I just tried it on RC.

    Also, what happened to my last comment? I know it was uber-negative, but I would rather see a rebuttal or explanation rather than just deleting it. Transparency?

  20. M. says:

    This is getting ugly! I installed the RC on a 64 bit W7 computer. I use the web install. It did some things then it asked me to reboot to continue. I did that and now I cannot get into Windows anymore. At the logo it waits a bit and then the screen goes dark and never comes back? After 1/2 hour I stopped the computer and restarted. The same thing. I tried to go in safe mode but the same thing happened. So at this point that computer cannot be used anymore. Please note that I had the the vs 11 beta installed and it worked ok. Any pointers of how to get back my computer?

    Thanks, M.

  21. jwalantsoneji says:

    Nice UI; eager to develop something on it…

  22. Billy says:

    Cannot wait to upgrade tomorrow at work. Good job guys!

  23. @ marcel de vries,

    Single Page applications won’t ship with the final MVC 4 release, but will continue to evolve outside of the MVC 4 release. Check out the ASP.NET SPA home page for details:

    @ Steve Fewster,

    Cloud development is an important aspect of Visual Studio, and we will provide Visual Studio 2012 support for Azure in the future. However this will be based on the release cycle of the Windows Azure platform, which is different than Visual Studio’s. Please stay tuned.

    Lisa Feigenbaum

    Senior Community Program Manager

    Visual Studio Team

  24. Asesh says:

    Windows 8's metro UI is damn ugly and now you guys are slapping that ugly makeup to Visual Studio too. I won't be upgrading to Windows 8 because of Metro so I will not upgrading to Visual Studio 2012 either.

  25. Anyway, thanks for a possibility to upgrade from Beta, much appreciated!

  26. @ LMK,

    It looks like your last comment is on page 1 of this post's comments. You can navigate to it using the pager at the bottom of the page.  

    Lisa Feigenbaum

    Visual Studio Team

  27. VWD design surface still not able to display CSS3 styles or use media queries. No design surface for razor pages either. I'd far rather have the tools and features we need to work with than a flashy new UI.

  28. Mark says:

    +1 for changing the ALL CAPS MENU TEXT, what were you thinking? It looks awful.

  29. Fritz says:

    Thank you for the new version. Need's an hour or two until feel comfortable, but then it is ok. What I miss: the possibility to get a second Solution Explorer for my second code editor window. That was very helpful in the Beta.

  30. Patrick Smacchia says:

    –>horrible logo (while the beta VS11 logo was sober and clean),

    –>still usage of UPPER CASE MENUS,

    –>marketing branding big mistake switch from VS11 to VS2012 (why not VS2012 since the inception???)

    –>still no clean API for VS extension/addin/plugin

    –>icons not colorful enough

    all these I regret!

    Apart that congratulations to all VS engineers, all these mistakes are not their choices and they made an awesome job with this release that is so much more clean and faster!!

    Finally, after having discarded the so slow VS2010, I am looking forward jumping from VS2008 to VS2012 🙂

  31. Amit Patel says:

    Really cool..!

  32. Ian Haynes says:

    I ran the RC install to update the beta, which was very slow, about 60mins. Having done so I get an 'Invalid License Data' dialog saying that reinstall is required.

  33. JS says:

    Very happy with this product so far.

    If you don't like the all caps menus you can disable them:


    REG_DWORD value: 1

  34. Alex says:

    In my opinion this UI is hideous. Very Flat.  I mean simple things like full upper case menu's? Come on Microsoft….

  35. Aaron Marten says:

    @Ian Haynes, Please contact me via email to resolve your "Invalid License Data" issue. aaronm <AT>

  36. Adam says:

    It is really inspiring to see MS completely ignore users requests about fixing the atrocious UI and removing the CAPS FROM THE MENU BAR.

    I think I will try the same approach with my customers. Who cares about having a functional and stable product with good performance when we can spend all that time instead destorying the UI and sending it back to 1980.

    Well done.

  37. Dimitri says:

    I don't mind the CAPS so much, but maybe that's because I do actual real work, and for real work this IDE beats 2010 hands down. Well done!

  38. some one says:

    I want to know what wisdom Microsoft has that the rest of us don't. We all know that ALL CAPS suck, but what is that Microsoft knows that we don't that make them think ALL CAPS is good? Can we see Blog post soon on the reason for ALL CAPS and the reason for going against the grain.

  39. Doug Turnure (Microsoft) says:

    Hi LMK,

    Connect Bug ID 727391 is currently showing as active, but the bug has been fixed for RTM. We've added a comment on the Connect site indicating this, and we'll close out the bug as such.

  40. some one says:

    I think these forums are not monitored by Microsoft people. This one seems to be. You Microsoft people seem to be eager to help with the Web Install that failed, a post that was on page one that some thought was deleted. You answered a question about a bug on Connect.

    But, for some reason none of the Microsoft people can answer this simple question, why ALL CAPS?

    Or even address this BUG?

  41. some one says:

    For thosse of you who want to vote about the ALL CAP bug. There was feedback opend on the Connect site.…/menu-is-all-caps

  42. says:

    How do I change the color of the status bar at the bottom!?

    It sticks so much out compared to the rest of the UI by using does bright colors .

    Really annoying.

  43. Intellisense in XAML is almost never working. That was the case in the Beta and still in the RC. Some files work, after a couple of minutes of waiting, but most don't. XDesProc works (using CPU) and even when it goes idle, the intellisense doesn't start to work.

    Our solution has 40+ projects, maybe 10-12 with XAML. Target framework is 4.0.

    That's a showstopper.

  44. Navit Saxena says:

    @Darth W6

    We would like to investigate this and understand the root cause of this issue. Will it be possible for you to share a small repro project with us? If you can get in touch with me at navits at microsoft dot com, I can help in debugging this issue.

  45. tadanderson says:

    I gave up my MSDN Subscription for a 2012 Macbook Pro…/i-gave-up-my-msdn-subscription-for-2012.html

  46. Jeff Lewis says:

    One thing I can't see anywhere is the expiration date for this release. I'm pretty sure MSFT isn't giving away free, essentially complete versions of VS2012, so I'd like to know how long I have before I have to get the retail version.

    For that matter, any idea on when that's expected to ship?

  47. @Jeff Lewis –

    In the VS2012 Release Candidate license terms you'll find that the software will stop running on 15 January 2013.  So, that should give you long enough to evaluate this version before it expires.  We have made no announcements regarding the date for the final delivery of VS2012 but the product name gives you an outer bound.  ðŸ™‚

  48. Angry user says:

    I hate the UI.

  49. Ashley Davies says:

    Amazing job with the new UI. I agree with everyone else about the capitalised menu bars, though.

  50. M Aldin says:

    Why so obssesed on having all caps in the product at all? Can you at least make it an option to turn this "flavor fo the month" feature off?

  51. Juan V. says:

    So, you increased the install speed by 20%, uh? Can you tell us where? I'm installing it on a Win7 x64 dual core machine. 3.5 hours and it's still not done!

  52. beBoss says:

    Why VS don't detect netframework ? Drop down menu is empty, you can only select "more framworks", but after download and try to install 4.5 shows me , that is installed ???

    What to do ?

    Windows 8 RC, VS2012 RC ultimate.

  53. Mohammad says:

    Tank you

  54. Jason says:

    Try building a LightSwitch app with 2012 RC and running it in Google Chrome. FAIL – Cannot believe your test team did not spot this.

  55. VoiceOfExperience says:

    I installed 2012 RC over 11 Beta (April update), and when I try to open existing solutions, it says it can't handle projects of type vcxproj (I am using native C++/MFC). Therefore I can't use RC at all, and have uninstalled it.

    I filed a bug report.

  56. doesn't work anymore (when trying to connect between VS2012RC to it).

  57. Aaron Marten says:

    For anyone else hitting "Invalid License Data" after upgrading from Beta to RC, see this post for one possible explanation and solution:…/invalid-license-data-after-vs-11-beta-to-vs-2012-rc-upgrade.aspx

  58. beBoss says:

    lol, anybody know what to do? Why VS doesn't detect windows 8 rc netframework ?

  59. Gijsbert says:

    For all those people who can’t stand the ALL CAPS menus in Visual Studio 2012 there’s a way to switch them to normal casing.

    Crack open your registry editor and create the following registry key and value


    REG_DWORD value: 1

  60. Fred says:

    This UI is horrible. All screenshots made with just make sad and depressive. I would pay if someone can extend VS2010 to enable 4.5 development but I won't pay for that mess. My mother will maybe love the metro UI as she never used a PC , but I hate it

    No improvements of the design surface in ASP.NET, no improvements of the CSS design Tools, no improvements of WSAT, and finally an unusable interface where items are unfindables with icons that are ugly and have no meaning. thank you….. I always defended Microsoft in my university against all those linux guys as I thought they were evolving in the right direction with WinRT seems to become their holy grail and I think I will focus on iOS development in the future. farewell Microsoft. It has been nice to work with all the consecutive versions of VS with successive productivity improvements, but this time I quit unless a miracle happens very soon

  61. Steve Hollander says:

    What a mess.  A "premier" development tool, supposedly world class, and a controversial theme (light theme with barely-colored icons) is forced on hundreds of thousands of users, just so you can feel like you have a trendy look.  This is a serious tool, not something to force controversial looks on people with.  What a freakin' joke.

  62. Johnny says:

    Get rid if the capitals.  Why don't you simply accept the feedback?  Do that and you can ship.

  63. Richard says:

    Is it really true, that there are no more Windows Forms Applications for CLR/C++?

    That is very bad for me, I need them urgently.


  64. Imgen says:

    Somehow, on my relatively powerful laptop (6G RAM, Quad Core i7), VS 2012 RC is hangs at startup and the memory consumption is around 14M and it freezes. Any idea why?

  65. Hi Jason,

    First of all: you’ve done a good job. Lots of improvements in the new version of Visual Studio. I like it.

    If it comes to the look&feel I do not like the new color themes. It makes me nervous and depressive if I see all the icons in ugly grey.

    Now, I have one suggestion to make to you to get rid of the discussions about the UI, icon color etc.

    In Visuaul Studio 2012 in TOOLS->Options in Environment—General–Visual  experience—color theme: Light and Dark;

    What you can do here is:

    Put the “Classic” Visuaul Studio theme in to the drop down menu (i.e: Light/Dark/Classic)

    Whoever wants to use the old Visuaul Studio theme(Classic) can use it straight. I think this would make us(me) happy to see this option in the menu I mentioned above.


  66. Eric says:

    VS 2012 has many improvements over VS 2010.  Once I installed the previous version of 2012 I have not gone back to VS 2010 once.  I hope those that haven't tried 2012 will ignore the thin skinned complainers on here and give it a try.

  67. @ Nas   Can you let us know what error message are you getting when connecting to the tfs preview?  Also if you can post that information in our forum (…/threads ) our support team can then be in contact with you to find a resolution.

  68. @Imgen,

    We like to better understand what it’s happening.

    Could you please file a bug about your issue? You can collect a hang report and submit a bug with the Visual Studio Feedback Tool).


  69. Amanda B says:

    I downloaded this and used it some.  I have to say that I hated the icons in the pictures, but when I use VS 2012, the black icons actually hurt my eyes.  I swear that some of them are actually blurry!  Please fix the icons so they aren't black and hard to look at.  Even if we had a 'classic icons' checkbox, that would fix the problem.  

    And…I'm still hating the color scheme.  (or lack thereof)

  70. @Jason re: Chrome – We've logged this bug and have narrowed down the problem to an issue with how the OData Feed Charset is getting interpreted on Chrome.

    We'll update this forum thread as more info becomes available:…/d58ff88d-ea86-48f7-90cb-5d7251082483

  71. Richard says:

    I'm only installing this to try out the updated C++ compiler. I'll try to keep an open mind (ALL CAPS MENUS? Really?!) but I found VS 2010 to be a dog (I can't even browse my code while compiling? Really?!) so my expectations are low…

  72. Been using this for about a month now and trying to like it, but I can't. The UI appears blurry, GREATLY exacerbates eye floater problems making it hard to physically focus (unless you have eye floaters then you have no idea how aggravating they are – seriously), is difficult to delineate borders of windows, icons and such, is depressing and uninspiring. Take the architectural explorer for instance and try to drill down into something. With the 'light' view there is almost no distinction between the windows whereas on 2010 it was clear. There are just so many things wrong I don't where to begin. I ask you in all sincerity, what is the problem with providing an option to choose the VS2010 UI theme? Honestly what is the problem with that? We're developing for, and promoting YOUR products Microsoft, and we are influencing/training the next gen of devs as well. We are not the avg consumer, we're professionals and should be treated as such. This entire UI situation is just plain ludicrous. Couple this with what seems to me as the loss of committment to SL, makes me question my 30+ year commitment to Microsoft (which was never in question before). So who has complained about the VS2010 UI? How many people? Now how many people complained about this UI? Think about it and think about giving us a VS2010 UI theme option.

  73. @VoiceOfExperience

    I installed 2012 RC over 11 Beta (April update), and when I try to open existing solutions, it says it can't handle projects of type vcxproj (I am using native C++/MFC). Therefore I can't use RC at all, and have uninstalled it.

    Thank you for you feedback. This might be a setup issue. Could you get the log files under %TEMP% directory and attach them to the connect bug? Is there any chance that you can do a clean installation of RC?

  74. @Richard

    can't even browse my code while compiling?

    You should be able to browse the code while building the application. If this is not the case, could you please open a connect bug?

  75. Paul says:

    They haven't spared even the logo 🙁

  76. @MartinFr – "How do I change the color of the status bar at the bottom?"  Matt Johnson, one of the developers on the Visual Studio team, developed and released a theme editor extension for Visual Studio 2010 on Studio Gallery.  His tool needs additional time and effort to work with Visual Studio 2012 given all the changes we made.  As soon as its ready we will make it available.  With Matt's tool you will be able make a wide variety of theme changes including updating the Status Bar colors to colors of your choosing.

  77. @ Richard,

    You can still develop Windows Forms Applications using Visual Studio 2012 RC Professional and higher SKUs.

    Lisa Feigenbaum

    Visual Studio Team

  78. Hans H says:

    When will this be fixed: "Code coverage for native C++ doesn't work in Visual Studio 2012 RC"?

    Support for native unit testing is the main reason for us to even consider VS 2012. No Code Coverage, no Unit Testing, no VS 2012 …

  79. Jason T. says:

    Dude, I'd run and hide on this one cause this release is flat out jacked.  My team is sticking with 2010.

  80. Richard says:


    Hi Lisa,

    i cannot find Windows Forms Application under File|New|Project|Visual C++|CLR? Am I searching at the wrong place?

    In Visual Studio 11 Beta they were available, and they should be available in the final release.

  81. Jim says:


  82. i-DotNET says:

    The sea of gray colors is depressing.  Has Microsoft contacted the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to see if there's been an increase in suicide rate for VS developers since the beta?

  83. Lachlan01 says:

    It is obvious that several "persons of sub-par intelligence" (to put it politely) were involved in the "new & improved" Visual Studio. I suspect these persons were "suits"; I fail to see how coal-face developers would go for this sort of extreme change for no benefit.

    As such, I would like to invite members of the Visual Studio team to provide us with some insight into how these design decisions were made. Not the sanitized (BS) version on Monty's blog; the actual real story behind this farce. There MUST have been a lot of internal debate. Can we please have the inside story, anonymously on this or equivalent forums if necessary.

    Now for a quick history lesson, since MS is obviously not very good at learning from their mistakes. Remember Internet Explorer? It had no competitors for so long that it was allowed to languish as a piece of sloppy rubbish. Some token updates were applied (IE 7, IE8) that were really no improvement. Now a science lesson: "Nature abhors a vacuum". Along came Google with Chrome, and within a couple of years, IE is headed for oblivion and will never again be the dominant browser.

    If Google were to enter the IDE market (and no doubt it would be free) with a decent competitor to VS, they could quickly dominate. You have just done a great job of alienating many of your loyal developers (myself included) with this fiasco; the time for a competitor to enter the market is perfect.

    I am utterly bemused that MS is taking risks with the one product within their portfolio that nearly all other products depend on for success. Without applications, Windows cannot dominate. Without Windows, there is no Office. Without software, there is no Server. If I were MS I would do ANYTHING to keep my developers happy; a free IDE, as customisable as possible. Charging for an IDE is ludicrous but that point does not need revisiting here.

  84. Liam says:

    I need support both desktop and windows ce…so have no choice but to stick with VS2008 and spend my spare time with XCode in prep to move to iOS…..why are MS doing this do us?

  85. Jason says:

    This RC is a sad joke.

    It has so many amazing trendy things we have asked for!

    It has sad grey slow UI with ugly custom chrome.

    It has icons that make me remember my first crayon exercises.

    It has ALL CAPS.

    PLUS, It can even build your code!

    Well done Microsoft, very impressive!

  86. Sumit Kumar [MSFT] says:

    @ Richard

    Maintaining existing C++/CLI Windows Forms applications is fully supported in Visual Studio 2012. If you have existing C++/CLI Windows Forms applications, you can open them in Visual Studio 2012, modify them, add new forms and other items, build them etc.

    C++/CLI is a great solution for interop, but we do not recommend creating brand new Windows Forms applications using C++/CLI. I would like to get a better understanding of your requirement to create new C++/CLI Windows Forms application. If you would like, you can contact me directly at ‘sumit dot kumar at microsoft dot com’.

    Thanks for your feedback,

    Sumit Kumar

    Visual C++ Team

  87. LMK says:

    Please, everyone who hates the new UI go here and vote:…/2819619-leave-vs-2010-theme-and-the-theme-editor-extensio

    Not that we should have to, I think the community has spoken loud & clear that the VS2010 interface is preferable to this muck.

  88. John Saunders says:

    I am very disappointed to see that Microsoft doesn't care enough about Azure to ship the tools at the same time as Visual Studio 2012 RC. Are you taking your example from the SQL Server group, which always ships their BI tools based on the previous release of Visual Studio? If so, then that's a bad example to follow.

    Are there any other templates shipped with the RC that don't actually work:? Since the "Get Windows Azure SDK for .NET" template will not work out of the box in Visual Studio 2012 RC, it should be removed from the RTM and added back to the product once Azure development is actually supported.

  89. Abc says:

    Its awesome. Release it for professional developers also.

  90. Paul says:

    Does this version require you to install SharePoint Server on the same machine to create a SP project?  If yes, WHY?  

  91. Alexander, former Microsoftie says:

    Ugly!  Looks like the old Unix UI…

    You guys must be color blind.

    I agree with comments here, Metro has nothing to do with Visual Studio, so why pretent you are "Metro style"?

    To me best VS UI you guys had was VS 2008

    How difficult would it be to properly implement color schemes? – any beginner's text book has plenty of examples how to do that properly.

  92. @ John Saunders,

    We've released a new SDK with the Azure templates you're looking for, that work with Visual Studio 2012 RC.

    The download is available here:…/net

    You can also read more in Jason's latest blog post:…/announcing-the-june-2012-release-of-windows-azure-sdk-for-net-now-with-support-for-visual-studio-2012-rc.aspx


    Lisa Feigenbaum

    Visual Studio Team

  93. XiaoyingGuo says:


    Yes, the current version of SharePoint 2010 Developer Tools in Visual Studio 2012 still requires SharePoint server to be installed on the same machine. We fully understand the pain it brings to SharePoint developers. This is required due to the dependency between SharePoint and the Tools.


    Xiaoying Guo

    Visual Studio SharePoint Developer Tools Team

  94. hamed from iran says:

    very very nice

  95. John Saunders says:

    Thanks, @Lisa.Feigenbaum

    May I suggest that, in the future, no release of Visual Studio, especially not a Release Candidate, should ever ship with project or item templates which are known to not work as of the time of the release. That template should simply have said something like "Stay tuned!", rather than looking like it should work, and not working.

  96. Paul Yuknewicz (MSFT) says:

    @John Saunders – thanks I agree the suggested coming soon experience in the templates is better and it would avoid setting the wrong expectations.  We wanted to achieve that coming soon experience for the one-week difference between RC and Azure SDK availability, and to change that to "get the SDK" after.  The best route we found was to put the "coming soon" message on the web page pointed to in "get the SDK" template.  The Get the SDK template ships in the RC SKU which makes it hard to alter from week to week without reshipping or servicing the RC.  A more dynamic mechanism is a cool feature idea in the core Visual Studio shell that we should consider.  


    Paul Yuknewicz, Lead PM, Visual Studio – Cloud Tools

  97. Ian Haynes says:

    I've seen other users comment on the speed of VS2012 but for me it's very slow, both to open initially and to open projects and websites. The only quick action is opening pages/files once the site has loaded.

  98. John Saunders says:

    @Paul Yuknewicz:

    Of course, changing the target web page makes the most sense. Unfortunately, the web page I saw didn't say "stay tuned". It simply didn't show an SDK that would work for VS2012 RC.

  99. Nathan Halstead says:

    @Ian Haynes

    Ian – we'd be very interested in taking a closer look at the problem you are experiencing with the performance of the release candidate.  One of the best ways to help us diagnose the problem is to collect a performance trace from your machine.  If you'd be willing to help us take a closer look, we have a tool published that makes filing a bug and submitting a trace pretty simple.  You can download by clicking Jason's "Visual Studio Feedback Tool" link in his blog post above  (

    When filing a bug from the tool, please mention this blog post and discussion.  This will help our customer support team route the bug quickly for further investigation.

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Nathan Halstead – Visual Studio Program Manager

  100. Paul Yuknewicz (MSFT) says:

    @John Saunders – did you happen to try this sometime on 6/6 or later?  We staged the new forward-link content that afternoon (Pacific time) so there were several hours where you would get the new page.  Before that for the most of the week we had a coming soon message for vs11.  You might have hit the worst case scenario as the new content was staged – apologies!

  101. John Saunders says:

    @Paul, if you look at the attachments to…/azure-development-doesnt-work-with-vs-2012-rc, you'll see screen shots showing what I saw.

  102. Daniel Sitnik says:

    Seriously? That's the ugliest logo I've ever seen….

    Come on, give us back the old curvy and beautiful logo!

  103. Duke Kamstra says:


    Simon – we'd be very interested in taking a closer look at the problem you are experiencing with the performance of creating MVC projects and loading projects from TFS.  One of the best ways to help us diagnose the problem is to collect a performance trace from your machine.  If you'd be willing to help us take a closer look, we have a tool published that makes filing a bug and submitting a trace pretty simple.  You can download by clicking Jason's "Visual Studio Feedback Tool" link in his blog post above  (

    When filing a bug from the tool, please mention this blog post and discussion.  This will help our customer support team route the bug quickly for further investigation.

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Duke Kamstra – Visual Studio Program Manager

  104. Chukwu Ifeanyi says:

    Icons look like windows phone 7 icons……Changes is cool and keeps programmers' reflexes new from the mind. Its  unique though new.We'll adapt. I aint quitting on Microsoft……and visual studio.If u dnt like d new release, keep ur brakes @ 2010 SP1.As for me, i'm stepping up…..:)

  105. Joel says:

    I guess the trend in look and feel is to go retro, like the ultrapopular game Minecraft.  For some reason blocky graphics, bland colors, low resolution is all the rage these days, lol.  Sigh… I just don't get it.  Why not just release it on MS-DOS 3.3?

  106. Jason says:

    The new VS icon is so ugly. Can we change icon back to VS 2010?

  107. Manoj says:

    I tried to use the Javascript Console & Dom Explorer in VS 2012 RC running on Windows 7 with IE9, and I am getting an error stating : "The installed version of Internet Explorer does not support the browser diagnostics windows." Any solutions to resolve this issue ? thanks.

  108. Yves-Martial says:


    I just want to know how about Cloud and Framework 4.5.

  109. Whoa! says:

    I agree with the UI complaints.  Whoever designed the UI, clearly wasn't thinking "developers", the audience.

  110. Scott (MSFT) says:

    Yves-Martial, you can run .NET 4.5 in Azure today if you use the Virtual Machine preview that we have since you can install whatever products on the Virtual Machine. We are planning to have it available in the Web Site and Cloud Service offerings shortly after .NET 4.5 is RTMed.

  111. For all you UI complainers out there, I agree that the UI look was better in previous versions, but why make such a big deal about it?  Functionally, VS 2012 RC is great.  The UI isn't everything.

    Great job MS Visual Studio Team!

  112. Ram says:

    I Think by using this we can develop a rich application

  113. Agung Novian says:

    Ya Tuhan, jelek sekali tampilan VS2012 ini, ingin punya kesan flat? Sudah ikon logo nya pun jelek. Payah. Jauh lebih bagus VS2010

  114. Andy Bonner says:

    Would be great if it actually installed properly, keep getting

    "The file %windir%Microsoft.NETFrameworkv4.0.30319mscorlib.tlb could not be loaded.  An attempt to repair this condition failed because the file cannot be found."

    But it's definately there!!!

    So I thought I'd try a repair on the 4.5 RC framework but that fails, arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Would love to try it out but getting very frustrated.

  115. @Andy Bonner


    We are very interested in taking a closer look at the problem you are experiencing with the .NET Framework 4.5 RC Setup.

    1. Can you describe the steps that led to this error ?

    "The file %windir%Microsoft.NETFrameworkv4.0.30319mscorlib.tlb could not be loaded. "

    2. To investigate issues with the repair, please get the detailed logs from your machine by running the log collection utility, from elevated command prompt, from here:…/details.aspx.

    The tool produces a cab ( which you upload to shared location (eg. skydrive) and share the link here.


    Nithya Chandrasekaran

    .NET Framework


  116. roteague says:

    Looking at all the comments, all I can say is MSFT has ignored every comment about the look and feel of the product. It gives the impression that the developers of VS don't care about the people who have to use this.

    As for me, and my team, we will stick with VS2010.

  117. @Nithya Chandrasekaran

    Well I spent around 8 hours yesterday trying to install VS2012 & then get my machine back in working order & eventually found the problem after trying all the supposed fixes out there on the net.

    Somehow during the installation it screwed up my environment variables. I think it was the PATH variable as  subsequent variables failed to load properly hence the reason why it couldn't find the file because my system didn't know anything about the %windir% variable anymore.

    All I did to fix the problem was go into the variables & save them again and eventually things started working again & I could then do a repair of the 4.5 frameowrk & VS 2012 RC.

    Now VS 2010 is working again also so I can actuallt get on & do some work, although I will be trying out some of the new designers for SharePoint development in 2012 today ;-}

  118. @Skullcrusher (Andy Bonner)

    I am sorry to hear about your installation experience. If there is anything we can do to help with this error, please let us know. I am also happy to know that you will be able to try out VS 2012 RC and look forward to hearing about your experience.


    Nithya Chandrasekaran

    .NET Framework, MSFT

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