I think this is a really good call by the folks at Microsoft. There was a huge jump in performance from Beta 1 to Beta 2, which I think allowed people to believe their feedback was being heard, thus making them comfortable giving more feedback.
The releases are here:
As someone who has been actively participating in the Visual Studio 2010 Beta cycle, I can certainly vouch for their comments about listening to the users.
When I pushed a performance issue to a Microsoft-er, he wrangled in two other folks to help figure out where the problem would be. We went back and forth for two weeks to identify and rule out some issues, then they got me to do a couple of performance profiles and send them in via secure upload site.
By the end of the process there were seven or eight Microsoft employees participating in the email chain and recommending different configuration settings, suggesting workarounds and requesting information about usage on the product.
A Different Microsoft
I entered my career in the development world as a snot-nosed teen, lovin’ Torvalds and putting the big hate on for “Micro$oft”. I started to tinker with the first bits released for .Net and quickly got hooked.
I understood and believed many of the criticisms of Microsoft in the 90’s, but the company has changed. The way that they responded to my performance concerns in Visual Studio 2010 shows a level of commitment that I have not seen with anyone I pay money too; not my vehicle manufacturer, not the builder of my house, not any of my household appliances. Call Apple and ask them to fix something on your iPod and see how far you get.
If you complain about the things you don’t like about Microsoft and you haven’t given them a chance to fix them, you have to drop the chip on your shoulder and get involved in the beta cycles. I’m using VS2010 daily, sending emails, participating in forums, submitting feedback and blogging about things I’d like to see.
Heck, I’m a programmer and Visual Studio 2010 was my idea.