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Visual Studio IDE Tab Order
Microsoft fails at usability

I’ve been really annoyed for a while by the unintuitive IDE tab ordering in Visual Studio 2005+. When you type [shift+]alt+tab, you don’t get the next/previous tab in the list as would be the OBVIOUS way to do it (which probably all other IDEs do this right). No, it switches between tabs in an arbitrary hidden order related to the last acces order of the tabs.

Searching the internet for a solution to this was pretty fruitless, so I tried to tackle the problem myself. I dug through all the possible structures I could find in the Visual Studio IDE macro explorer, and was unfortunately unable to find where the tab order was kept in a window pane (if it is even accessible to the user). I thought I had the solution at one point, but realized it also just switches tabs in the order they were originally opened :-(. This is the VB macro code I came up with to do at least that, which uses “DTE.ActiveWindow.Document.Collection” for the tab-open order.

	 Public Sub TabDirection(ByVal Direction As Integer)
		  'Find the index of the current tab
		  Dim i As Integer
		  Dim Index As Integer
		  Dim Count As Integer
		  Count = DTE.ActiveWindow.Document.Collection.Count
		  For i = 1 To Count
				If DTE.ActiveWindow.Document.Collection.Item(i).ActiveWindow.Equals(DTE.ActiveWindow) Then Index = i
		  Next i

		  'Determine the new index
		  Index = Index + Direction
		  If Index > Count Then Index = 1
		  If Index = 0 Then Index = Count

		  DTE.ActiveWindow.Document.Collection.Item(Index).Activate() 'Activate the next tab in the proper direction
	 End Sub

	 Public Sub TabForward()
	 End Sub

	 Public Sub TabBackward()
	 End Sub
Microsoft deserves to die to its competition
How can incompetence of this magnitude be thriving so well? Stop supporting Microsoft!

So Microsoft sold us [company I am currently working for] a copy of Visual Studio 2010 Professional with lies about what it supported (Windows Mobile Legacy Versions [including CE]). When we complained, they spouted how VS2010 supports the newest version of Windows Mobile (Windows Phone 7), which doesn’t even exist yet (they promise a release in “Holiday of 2010”, I’ll believe it when I see it, as this is not the first missed expected deadline). Now they refuse to give us a refund on VS2010, or even let us buy VS2008 from them instead, as it’s “a legacy product”, even though we need it because it DOES support windows mobile legacy versions.

Microsoft has done this kind of thing to me, people I know, and pretty much everyone in the world too many times to count. They will never be receiving my business or money again. It feels great to see Google beating them hands down in every market Google decides to compete with them on.

Time to see if we can’t switch over to Linux or Android on these handheld systems as an alternative... (though unfortunately they seem to be locked in to running Windows CE *sigh*).

[Addition on 6/17/2010]

And Microsoft lied to me once again, though at least this time I was expecting it. I later found out I also had an MSDN subscription that came with VS2010, and called in to activate it, as online activation wasn’t working (don’t even want to mention all the mistakes they made during THAT process). I was told on the phone during this proceeding that the MSDN subscription license I had was compatible with the “VS Pro MSDN (Retail)” license, and was pointed to a list of products I could download from the MSDN Subscriptions page as soon as my subscription was activated (which took 3 days...). Low and behold, this was not true and I can not download many of the things I am needing and was planning on getting when the subscription came through (including VS 2005 or 2008), as the license is not compatible at all with what they told me.

Microsoft thrives on lying to their consumers and knowing they can get away with it. Microsoft specifically targets CEOs and tells them how important it is that they make their shop 100% Microsoft, giving completely falsified numbers and arguments to support this mockery. Microsoft jams their advertising so much into the heads of these non-tech-savvy individuals that when their IT staff tells them anything against the loud spoutings of Microsoft, the truth is lost in the wind, and even sometimes loses jobs. I have seen this happen at multiple companies, and have seen Microsoft’s lies and falsified reports more times than I can remember.

This somehow needs to be stopped.