@Rafael: Entity Framework works with any database if the database maker supplies a provider. Oracle has a provider that supports Entity Framework 4.1 and 4.2, although it does not support Code First.
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@Jules: You say VS 11 is dreary. Do you mean Visual Studio in general? If so, wouldn't that also be true if you are building XAML apps, as well as non Metro style applications? The IDE is pretty much the same regardless of what type of application you are building.
Or are you saying that the problem is not Visual Studio, but the actual apps you build? I agree that the various templates don't have a lot of color in them. But you can use Blend to create good looking apps. Check out this week's episode (coming Wednesday) on using Blend to create good looking HTML based Metro style apps. And next week's episode will show using Blend with XAML based Metro style apps.
@Pritesh Ostwal:Preview properties without going to the Properties window? What would you want that to look like? How would it work?
The best place to share your UI feedback is the Visual Studio User Voice site. The product team is very interested in what you have to say and is listening.
@ElleNearMello:You will need Visual Studio 11 to develop using .NET 4.5 and C# 5 and to take advantage of all the other new features in VS. You will be eligible for upgrade pricing, but we haven't yet announced what the pricing will be.
@Atif Shahzad:If you downloaded Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows 8 then you only have templates for building Metro style apps. If you download Visual Studio 11 Ultimate, Premium or Pro, then you will have all of the normal templates, including Silverlight. Note that if you install VS 11 Ultimate, Premium or Pro on Windows 7 you will not have the Metro style app templates, since Metro only runs on Windows 8.