Inital thoughts on Visual Studio 2015 RTM: Not Ready for Prime Time

I'm a HUGE fan of Visual Studio. In my opinion it is the best IDE available by a wide margin. I've been a heavy user of every version since VS2003 and I dabbled in several previous to that. I've anxiously awaited each new release and then migrated immediately and I'd always been impressed, until now. Put bluntly Visual Studio 2015 wasn't ready for release. I should have realized this when I was watching a video a couple weeks ago in which the presenter was using the fresh-off-the-presses VS2015 RTM. Over the course of the twenty minute video he encountered three different VS bugs he had to work around. I didn't learn from that and went ahead to install it as my primary (only) version of Visual Studio on a newly formatted Windows 8.1 machine. I've been using that machine daily now for just over two weeks and I routinely encounter issues in VS2015 Enterprise. Here are some of my concerns so far.

  • Solutions load noticeably slower than in VS2013.
  • Projects compile noticeably slower than in VS2013.
  • The Package Manager Console initialization phase sometimes takes over a minute to complete.
  • NuGet Package Manager can be unbearable slow. The new interface is fantastic looking, more full-featured and is no longer modal but it takes an unacceptable amount of time to perform actions. As an example, last week I updated several packages in a solution of approximately twenty projects. All of those updates were slow and some took as much as a half-hour to complete.
  • Add references dialog appears to miss available assemblies. For example, I installed the TFS object model but when I attempt to add TFS assemblies as references the search dialog fails to list any. I can clearly see these assemblies in my GAC.
  • Daily lockups and timeouts. Visual Studio 2015 intermittently becomes unresponsive. Sometimes these events last for a matter of seconds, sometimes they drag on for minutes and sometimes I get tired of waiting and kill the session with Task Manager.

One of the major touting points of VS2015 has been that the release cadence for updates is supposed to increase again. I hope that's in fact the case and that Microsoft moves to rapidly address the litany of issues that plague the initial release but for now I'd recommend sticking with VS2013. There are some really fantastic features in VS2015 but the frustrations that come with it are probably not worth the hassle for most developers.