New WPF UI for Visual Studio 2010 revealed

Jason Zander, general manager for Visual Studio has taken the hood off the new Visual Studio 2010 showing off the new UI rewritten to take advantage of WPF. The changes mean that developers will finally be able to take full advantage of multiple monitors, after many years of poor support. Much of the visual clutter and complexity is significantly reduced, along with an "inviting new palette" to make VS 2010 more distinctive.

The revamped UI also brings some very positive changes to the text editor, another area neglected for many years - the Visual Studio team itself has admitted the very poor (quadratic) performance characteristics of the current algorihims as file sizes increased. Although there are some concerns around the possible performance impact of switching to WPF, Microsoft claims that the hit of loading in WPF will be more than outweighed by optimisations for medium to large sized solutions.

Longer term too the use of WPF will be of great benefit to third party tool providers, given the many "hooks" WPF will offer into existing functionality. The release will also include a new extension manager allowing you to browser for templates and tools posted in the Visual Studio Gallery. The Visual Studio team are tight-lipped on any planned Beta 1 release dates, but a Microsoft-sponsored event at DevWeek on the new VS 2010 features in March was cancelled due to the fact "preview software due to be shown is unavailable.".

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