By Selma Ikiz

Would you like Visual Studio 2010 to be even faster? Would you like any performance issue you see to be  reported automatically without any hassle? Well now you can, with the new Visual Studio PerfWatson extension! Install this extension and help us deliver a faster Visual Studio experience.

We’re constantly working to improve the performance of Visual Studio and take feedback about it very seriously. Our investigations into these issues have found that there are a variety of scenarios where a long running task can cause the UI thread to hang or become unresponsive. Visual Studio PerfWatson is a low overhead telemetry system that helps us capture these instances of UI unresponsiveness and report them back to Microsoft automatically and anonymously. We then use this data to drive performance improvements that make Visual Studio faster.

Here’s how it works: when the tool detects that the Visual Studio UI has become unresponsive, it records information about the length of the delay and the root cause, and submits a report to Microsoft. The Visual Studio team can then aggregate the data from these reports to prioritize the issues that are causing the largest or most frequent delays across our user base. By installing the PerfWatson extension, you are helping Microsoft identify and fix the performance issues that you most frequently encounter on your PC.

To enable PerfWatson perform correctly, please make sure that Windows Error Reporting (WER) is enabled on your machine. PerfWatson employs WER service to send the collected data to Microsoft. For details on WER and how to enable it, please refer to PerfWatson blog.

Download and Installation

Following are the pre-requisites for installing Visual Studio PerfWatson:

  • Windows Vista/2008/2008 R2/7 (Note: PerfWatson is not supported for Windows XP)
  • Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (Professional, Premium, or Ultimate)

The extension can be downloaded from the Visual Studio Extension Manager or at the VS Gallery.

Limitations
  • The tool doesn’t work on Windows XP
  • The tool needs WER be enabled. For details on how to enable WER, please see this blog post

Please let us know what you think! Thanks!