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With the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview , Microsoft also released Visual Studio 11 Beta and .NET Framework 4.5 Beta versions to public.

A number of features were added and improvements made to “Visual Studio 11,” including the following:

• Reduced toolbar commands. To help free up precious workspace, Microsoft has reduced the number of default commands that show on toolbars in the user interface. These commands can still be accessed through the drop-down menus or added back onto the toolbar if the user wants them, but now the default work area is significantly larger. For example, the cut, copy and paste toolbar commands were removed because research has shown that most developers use the keyboard shortcuts instead.

• Simplified graphics. “Visual Studio 11” eliminates the use of color within tools except in cases where color is used for notification or status change purposes. Now, the user interface competes far less with the developer’s content. Other user interface graphics, such as line work and iconography, also have been simplified to be less distracting.

• Comprehensive search. “Visual Studio 11” features a comprehensive search capability, allowing developers to quickly find what they are looking for within commands and configuration options, tool windows, and open files.

• Workflow hubs. New workflow hubs combine common tasks into one simplified window. Rather than force developers to interact with two or more tool windows to get tasks done, ”Visual Studio 11” streamlines common tasks so that many can be accomplished from within a single window.

• Preview Tabs. Developers can view the contents of documents using new Preview Tabs, which get reused as the developer works. As a result, developers no longer end up with large numbers of extraneous documents open as a byproduct of common tasks such as debugging or browsing results.

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