An update on Visual Studio performance

An update on Visual Studio performance

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I wanted to take the time to thank everyone who has contributed to our UserVoice performance site by entering areas you would like to see us improve and for voting on those items.  To date we have had over 4700 posts and votes showing the passion you all have for Visual Studio and its performance.  For those that have downloaded the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview from the Microsoft \\Build Conference I would like to encourage you to post any performance issues you are seeing with that drop of Visual Studio as well.

As I said in the initial post Visual Studio’s performance continues to be a hot topic and we appreciate the feedback we have received on this site, and through other forums.  We are listening to your feedback and continuing to invest in improving performance across a number of areas you all have posted and voted for on this site along with data we are receiving through the instrumentation provided by PerfWatson described below.  I wanted to reiterate that our approach to gathering the key areas to improve are twofold and include:

  1. Collecting feedback from you to prioritize our work
  2. Implementing instrumentation in Visual Studio to collect data in cases where the product performs poorly

Collecting Customer Feedback

Please continue to use our single stop for feedback on Visual Studio Performance at our UserVoice site and post items or vote on the performance issues you find are impacting you the most. This feedback has been, and will continue to be, incorporated into our plans as we prioritize our work.


I want to spend a bit more time encouraging you to make use of Visual Studio PerfWatson, which is included in Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. PerfWatson, much like regular Watson, enables us to collect data from your machine right when you experience a performance problem.  This data allows us to pinpoint right when you experienced a significant pause or delay in the product and we can then debug the exact stack that is causing your Visual Studio instance to experience a performance delay. This blog post describes how we are using the data to identify and fix performance problems.  By combining your feedback with this data we continue to work on addressing those issues affecting you the most.

What to look for Next

As we finish our performance work and validate the wins I will be posting some videos of before and after scenarios for you to see.  Please look for these posts as we enter the new year.  I continue to read the posts, comments, vote totals at the UserVoice site along with PerfWatson reports indicating stacks that are being the most problematic.  This dual view of human perception along with instrumented data is invaluable to our understanding of what is impacting you the most, and again I appreciate your passion for helping us make Visual Studio better for you.

Thank you for your support,

Larry Sullivan
Director of Engineering

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  • The important thin is that your listening, thanks :)

    On a side note about the VS11 preview, i don't know how useful this is. I have had issues installing pre release versions of .net and VS in the past and because of this i wouldn't install this on my production environment. The reports you do get are probably a VM or separate machine that doesn't have all the programs, code and addins you use on a daily basis.

    Wouldn't it be better trying to get this information from live VS2010 environments?

  • Yes - this is great that you're listening to the feedback for V.Next, but what about V.Now?  Can't we get some of those fixes to a SP for VS2010?  Visual Studio is seriously driving me a way from Windows development.  VS crashes on me 2-3 times per day due to OOM issues (running 64bit with plenty of memory), and I'm constantly having other perf issues that just make my life hell.  The way things are going, my next contract will _not_ be doing .NET development, or at least not on Windows anyway.

  • I agree with Darrell...why does MS always just roll the improvements into the next version???  Have you forgotten that VS2010 was really hyped up when it was released?  Have you really forgotten your loyal customers who bought VS2010??  Why not release a SP2 for VS2010??

  • Between the nonresponsive IDE, regular internal compiler errors and nearly constant intellisense crashes, I have to agree with the two posters above me.

    How about fixing the product you shipped a year ago? If you can't do that, it's hard to see why we should assume that you'll fix VS11.

    It's not so much the crashes themselves that bother me, it's the fact that *nothing has been done about them since SP1*. It's the fact that Microsoft apparently believes that no matter how buggy the software they ship is, it's sufficient to ship exactly one service pack.

    It's not. VS10 is broken, and apparently nothing is being done to fix it.

  • Thanks for the well need initiative.

    My Visual studio 2010 gets restarted at least twice in a day. It reports an issue, thankfully. I hope all these issues will be resolved soon to make it much robust. It would be really great if these were made available as a part of SP for VS2010 rather than VS2011

  • How about building a timer into Visual Studio to clock the amount of time we all spend each day just waiting... and waiting... and waiting... because Visual Studio 2010 is "NOT Responding"? Now wouldn't that be an interesting "performance metric"?

  • I've been using Visual Studio 2010 since its been out, it's true that it sometimes hangs out, but not as much you guy are telling. I know I've been using some extensions which slowed down a lot my experience, that doesn't mean it's visual studio. One thing I know slowed down visual studio is the productivity power tools with the solution navigator on larger solutions (40 + projects + 1000s of files/classes). I'm not saying that VS doesn't crash or hang to the end of time for you guys, but I'd disable all extensions if you're using any.

  • For those complaining about non-responsiveness and memory usage - are you running any addons?  If so then run VS in safemode otherwise it could be the addons.  ReSharper (which is incredibly popular) has known memory leaks and performance issues that will tank VS.  This isn't Microsoft's problem but rather ReSharper (they are aware of the issues).  Other extensions have similar issues.  Running in safemode will at least eliminate the false positives.

  • To Annoyed and Frustrated: they already do that via the Performance Toolkit that was released.  Are you running it?  One of the things it watches for is stalls.  When VS stalls (from what I've been told) it generates a report as to what is going on in the system so MS can track down whether it is the IDE, an extension or something else.  This type of feedback will help MS work with extension developers to resolve the issues.  At least one fix in v11 was made based upon this feedback already.

  • "As we finish our performance work and validate the wins I will be posting some videos of before and after scenarios for you to see."

    You finish your performance work??! You validate your wins??? Excuse me, but I have yet to see any of that. I spent quite a bit of time playing with the Developer Preview of VS2011, and it is every bit as slow as VS2010. And you say you are wrapping up already?! Outrageous.

    What "new" feedback are you looking for? You didn't change a thing in Developer Preview wrt performance. All feedback for VS2010 applies to Developer Preview. What else do you need? Are you saying that you have fixed the performance issues we've been asking you to fix (for years, on Connect, on UserVoice, on blogs, everywhere)? If so, you must be talking about some internal build, because, again, the Developer Preview is as slow as VS2010. How about delivering that internal build as a second Developer Preview so that we could see the fixes you did? Otherwise, what we are supposed to give feedback on?

    The performance of VS2010 is absolutely abysmal, we've been complaining about that for years, and all you do in response is create an add-in that is supposed to help with exactly one aspect of the perceived performance, then issue a preview of the next version of VS which is as horribly slow as VS2010 (but that's OK, that's only a preview), and then turn around and say "THAT'S IT, WE'RE DONE, LET'S COUNT THE WINS"???! Really?

    Words fail me.

  • To those who have advised that I do this or that to "improve" performance. I already have. I have applied every "tip or trick" I have found posted on the web. And still I continue to experience the stalls and crashes in a manner that makes work with VS2010 most unpleasant.

    As a consequence, I must report that I do agree with the sentiments expressed by PleaseFixYourBugs.

  • I would think the best way to fix VS performance is to use it on all projects internally, dogfooding.

    I have gotten the impression some/many of your developers don’t use it internally, especially for larger projects? or am i missinformed?


  • I agree with "VS Perf". Dogfooding would be a great idea for you at Microsoft. I've heard the same rumours about Microsoft not using their own (mainstream) tools....

  • To PleaseFixYourBugs and everyone else that has taken the time to post to this site I really appreciate you all taking the time and expressing your concerns and issues.

    I wanted to clarify a couple statements that seemed to have gotten taken the wrong way.  In my post I said

    "As we finish our performance work and validate the wins I will be posting some videos of before and after scenarios for you to see."

    I should have been clearer that we are in the process of shutting down our big push on performance improvements for Beta, not for the release and I do look forward to everyone getting the Beta and feeling the improvements.  The Developer Preview was really about showcasing our support for Win8 and Cloud development along with new ALM features and the Team Foundation Service.  We did work to plumb the product to gather better telemetry on where you spend time waiting on Visual Studio.  This work did not show up as wins in the Developer Preview, but greatly helped us better understand the most problematic areas in Visual Studio and this work will pay dividends in Beta and beyond.

    Dogfooding has been mentioned and I want to let you know that we do dogfood Visual Studio and TFS inside Microsoft. We use our products to build our products and we do this for just the reason you state so that every developer does have a feel for the product.  To give you a bit of a feel for scope - we usually have hundreds in the Visual Studio organization working on the latest builds and outside Visual Studio we have a number of partner teams that use builds of the current product for their work as well.  The Developer Division uses TFS for all of our source code management, bug and work item tracking so that we use the full scope of our products.

    A few of you have mentioned crashes and reliability is something take very seriously and are driving to improve continually.  In Visual Studio we have made a considerable investment in not only improving our performance, but also reliability and I expect you will notice those improvements in not only the Beta of our upcoming release, but also in VS 2010 SP1 which you can download today via the Download Center or on Microsoft Update.

    Again, I want to thank you for the feedback and let you know that we are listening and working hard to make Visual Studio a product you love to use and that helps you be more productive every day.

    Larry Sullivan

    Director of Engineering

  • I'm probably quite a beginner comparing to you guys.  

    I have VS2010 since its first release but most of my development are still stuck at VS2008 because I find the VS2010's ReportViewer being incompatible with VS2008's, and there isn't any document about it.

    How's the ReportViewer in VS2011?

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