As the title suggests I am interested in knowing if Microsoft has any plans to improve the C++ programmers experience with the next VS.
I've tried to use VS 2005 for C++ projects but I failed to do so in a productive manner so now I'm only using it just for C# applications. My main reason was that VS 2005 is difficult to use.
In a normal project I use perhaps 5-10 functions of the IDE and nothing more. This means I expect lighting speed and precise results. Yet the tool is quite slow in performing them as, I suppose, it loads a lot of unnecessary components (to me).
As it is now I find VS 2005 for C++ quite similar to what Forte was a couple of years ago for Java: a tool with a huge list of great features but at the same time a tool that was painful to use.
Making a unique IDE for C++/C#/VB might be a good marketing idea but I think that had a negative impact on the C++ side of the tool. I believe different languages require different tools and if Java/C# programmers might like a slow but rich tool I think C++ programmers expect something else. At least I do.
A big issue that was already mentioned by others is the documentation. I recently uninstalled the MSDN coming with VS 2005 and reinstalled the version coming with VS 6.0 as I was using Google to find Windows API and C++ libs docs more than I was using the local MSDN. I understand that C# needs to be promoted but I fail to understand the need to cuts parts from the C++ documentation (or making them difficult to find).
Because of all these issues, my company is still using VS 6.0. The only major downside of VS6 compared to VS 2005 consists in the compiler/library bugs. But, as we are familiar with them they can be avoided.
It's not all bad, there are some nice new features and I'm sure more will come. I want to benefit from the improved compiler and some of the neat features but I'd prefer them in a lighter packaging. So my plea is to let the programmer configure the tool to suit his needs and feel good while using it.
I do not plan to stick forever to VS 6 but when I migrate I want to do it to a better tool. Hopefully the development team will manage to make Orcas such a tool.