At version 8.0, Consolas underwent a big change. The font became designed not only by Luc(as) de Groot, but also by Piotr Grochowski.
Version 7.0 had an atrocious character set of about 2400 characters. Version 8.0 reduced that to 1194 characters, and version 9.0 is planned to have at least 2823 characters!
Where's the italic version?
In my opinion the italic Consolas fonts of version 7.0 and before do more harm than good. It's better for italic to be handled by the rendering engine.
Why did you remove many characters from version 7.0?
The character coverage in version 7.0 had so many character gaps and relatively useless characters, it was so disgusting that I had no choice but to clean it up. Unlike version 7.0, version 8.0 is compatible with W1G, SECS and MES-2 despite having less characters.
What is the character set in version 8.x made of?
Version 8.0 is supposed to have all characters of W1G, SECS, MES-2 and IPA-MINI but it also has 2 more characters, because I forgot to remove them, so it has 1194 characters. Version 8.1 removes the two characters I forgot to remove in 8.0, and adds U+203F (‿) due to it being mentioned in the MES-2 rationale but not included in MES-2 for some reason, so it has 1193 characters. Version 8.2 adds many new characters including Vietnamese letters, having 1350 characters, in order to have a step forward in reaching the goal of at least 2823 characters for version 9.0, including the 2821 characters of MES-3B and 2 characters of SECS not in MES-3B.
*from a Microsoft employee* WHY THE HECK IS IT OPEN SOURCE?!
Open source is the future, whether you like it or not. Consolas is one of the things that became open source as a result of future.