Just a quick blog article on my first thoughts on Visual Studio 11 Beta. I suppose the first thing that hits me after the web install (you will need to reboot) is "oh its very monochrome like.". I think I can understand the choice behind the monochrome like feel, its probably been targeted towards developers like myself who use ridiculously high resolutions to get everything on the screen. It also reminds me of some Java IDE's and some Linux GUI applications.
Have a look in Tools > Options and we have the ability to switch to a darker themed version. I can already think of 4 developers I know who would prefer this type of theme, however the majority of developers will probably be looking for ways to get the old themes back.
What I do find nice though, is that Microsoft appear to have geared the IDE towards the ability of the developers machine. Its a good idea because not every developer is given the best machine for running a development environment.
The Solution Explorer
The solution explorer appears to have changed and appears to be a hybrid between the class explorer and the old solution explorer.
Verdict so far?
The new GUI appeared highly responsive, however I was using it from a machine with a lot of memory and an SSD drive. I personally like the monochrome type feel of the IDE although I know I'll be in the minority. I noticed that the Source Control providers such as GIT and Mercurial I had installed on my machine didn't come up in the source control provider drop down, so we'll probably need new versions of these plugins (among others) created for when the product is finally released.
Anyway, more later.