I spend significant parts of my days in front of a computer and then most of that is spent in Visual Studio. The importance of a good font should not be underestimated. When Consolas was leaked a few months ago I switched to that and have used it until a few weeks ago. The problem for me was that the whole ClearType issue caused me eye pain and headaches. I have tried other ClearType fonts as well such as Inconsolata and Bitstream Vera. Some time ago I was working on a computer with a new installation of Visual Studio and I left the default font settings. Courier New isn't much to write home about, but to my surprise I spent a full day programming without getting even a slight headache or eye pain. So I decided to search a little for a font that looks ok without ClearType. I have tried Dina, Proggy, ProggyClean, Lucida Console and a few other that aren't worth mentioning. Today I came across a great monotype font for programming. I still have to try it for a couple of days to get used to it, but it looks promising. The font is called Envy Code B and is produced by Damian Guard. He has a blog DamianG which has several good posts on font issues. Envy Code B can be downloaded here.
If you are familiar with other good alternatives I'll be happy to hear about it and try them out.
I don't know what to think. There has been a lot of pissing contests over the years regarding who invented this or that UI, but I was certainly surprised when I heard that the new Office ribbon concept is licensed. That's right. Do you fancy it? Want to use it in your next project? You need to sign a license. No, it doesn't help that you purchased a third party component that implements the UI functionality. If you want to use the ribbon concept, you need to sign a license. Ah, that is, if your product doesn't directly compete with the Office product line. You should probably read through the license here if you want to use any of the new ribbon components out there. There's a good post at DevExpress which develops a Ribbon UI compoent and is also part of a partner program.
One thing is certain; I disagree with the idea of licensing concepts. Sure, if I spent a lot of resources developing something I wouldn't want anyone to use my product except through my licensing scheme. But either you patent your product, or everyone is free to produce their own implementation of it. To license the use of menus for example seems absurd to me.
If you want to listen to someone who doesn't think highly of the MS legal folks, you should listen to TwiT (This week in Tech) #76. It doesn't matter if you agree or not, it's a great show!
Chances are you have had to go through a lot of trouble to get access to a hotfix for Visual Studio or .NET. A new pilot project now let you download a hotfix without first contacting MS customer support.
A list of hotfixes available for download is available here.