back to article Microsoft FIRES devs into the CLOUD with Visual Studio Online

Timed to coincide with the general availability of Visual Studio 2013 and .Net 4.5.1, Microsoft has launched Visual Studio Online, a new, hosted offering designed for web and application developers. "Visual Studio Online is a set of services that run in the cloud on Windows Azure," Microsoft developer division corporate VP "Soma …

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So essentially....

Microsoft will have access to any source your company is stupid enough to upload to the "Cloud"

SWEET WEEPING JESUS

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Windows

Disturbing..

I'm using VS2012 mostly because there is no other alternative to use 2010, other that getting an MSDN subscription which is a bit too expensive for me. And although I've peeked at the upcoming 2013 it really didn't appeal to me. A "social media" option right on the main screen?

What's disturbing to me is the speed in which this new version came out. 2010 was released in, well, 2010 whereas 2012 got released at the end of 2012, basically 2 years later. And considering the fact that there's still a lot amiss in version 2012 I think it's quite disturbing that instead of addressing all of those (self inflicted!) issues they're now trying to sell us yet another version.

And of course; unlike with regular software products you don't have to expect a discount from Microsoft. If you're already using Visual Studio then prepare to cough up the full price again to "upgrade".

The reason this upsets me should be obvious... One of the new features (link to "What's new in VS2013) is: "You may notice the more than 400 modified icons with greater differentiation and increased use of color".

That feature would be a welcome one had it not been Microsoft themselves which removed those colours to begin with leaving at least 13 THOUSAND developers to demand their colour back (link to official VS feedback forum thread).

In all fairness they did give us a "theme editor" which managed to undo some of the damage. But the black, hard to recognize, icons still remained in place.

And so here is Microsoft's official answer: "Sorry we messed up, we fixed the colours for you, please cough up the same amount of cash to get 2013 and be on your way".

Yeah right...

This isn't merely a rant of how I think Microsoft is screwing us over. It's also a rant about how Microsoft are screwing themselves over. There are a lot of VS2010 users out there who know better than to upgrade to the flakeyness which we got now.

The problem, as I see it, is that Microsoft doesn't try to appeal to all those developers in order to persuade them to get into VS2012. Instead they simply sped up their release cycle, apparently hoping that all the suckers "valued customers" who bought 2012 are now going to buy into 2013 to get rid of their problems.

With an attitude like that, and with the competition that's all around us, I think Microsoft are going to have a rough time ahead.

Personally I don't see the need to upgrade, but if I did I'd simply run an 2013 Express version along side my licensed 2012. Because why should I spend money on something which might have bugs or inconsistencies in it which may never get fixed in the first place?

Don't get me wrong: In general I think quite highly of Visual Studio. It honestly has come a long way, I love how I can easily combine an ASP.NET web project with a desktop project, all in the same solution where both projects utilize a 3rd (mutual) supporting project. The interface in general (when talking 2012: WITH theme editor in place) is pretty slick and straight forward and I'm actually happily impressed with the way I can find my way around C# with all my Java knowledge.

And a strictly personal opinion, but I really think the IIS web / application server can be more extensive, or easier to use, than Java's Glassfish. Even though I also admire that project as well.

THAT is why I rant. I think Microsoft has some huge potential, but they're throwing it away with crappy marketing and a seemingly disdain for their customers. "We listen to our customers" they say, yet when millions of VS2012 users cry out about a shoddy interface they're met with silence at first. Followed up with a theme editor, fair is fair.

But it seems that the real issues with some people have (myself excluded; I'm relatively happy with VS2012 in the way it is now) will only go away if they cough up yet another amount of cash for a new license.

THAT is poor customer service.

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Re: Disturbing..

Seriously, 2013 offers tools like visual debugging and code peek and you're obsessing over colours?

What are you, a webmonkey?

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Mushroom

Re: @dogged

We've all gotten by just fine without "visual debugging" (whatever the hell that is), so yes, I think it is fair to "obsess" over things that are important. You know, like usability.

Congrats on being scammed by the MS marketing department.

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Re: Disturbing..

The point is that they are (finally) listening to their customers. One of the major issues with VS 2012 was general responsiveness; 2013 is a damn sight faster (I've been using it since it came out). I for one am glad they're paying attention to their customers. Now if we could just get the API teams to listen to us too....

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Re: @dogged

> We've all gotten by just fine without "visual debugging" (whatever the hell that is)

That's what I said until I looked at it.

I was wrong. You are wrong, too. Take a good look and then use it, then tell me you don't need it. Because you do.

"I know nothing of what I speak! Here is a fireball icon to show my rage!"

Typical.

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Re: Disturbing..

There are alternatives to shelling out the same money again. I believe MSDN allows one to stay current with the MS releases, in fact, I do believe that VS 2010 Came with an MSDN subscription to maintain currency.

There is also DreamSpark, which offed the various Dev Tools gratis, if you are attending/affiliated with an institute of higher learning (.edu e-mail address)

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Re: @dogged

Visual debugging may be the most wonderful feature ever - I won't argue that. But you completely ignored the actual point I was trying to make.

ShelLuser is right to complain about basic usability issues. His sentence, "...hoping that all the suckers "valued customers" who bought 2012 are now going to buy into 2013 to get rid of their problems." sums it up nicely.

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Re: @dogged

Not really. As many users skip an IDE edition as skip an OS edition.

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First impressions

Being an MSDN subscriber via the BizSpark program, I have had access to Visual Studio 2012, and 2013 now. I have to say that the 2013 UI is much more responsive, but not worth shelling out a tonne of cash for. Some of the tooling is nicer, but again, not something that can't be done with some cleverness in 2012.

As a web developer, the biggest feature I am drooling over is BrowserLink. Best new feature in my opinion!

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Anonymous Coward

Been using the preview hosted TFS/git/build services for at least a month...Seems a bit simplistic compared to RTC and the like, but the interface is nice enough, look forward to building out. Can't knock it for free either.

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