Continuing to push the envelope on enterprise products, Microsoft has today announced that it is a much-awaited step and finally bringing its true cross-platform development experience to Macs. The Redmond giant plans to debut a preview version of Visual Studio for Macs at the Connect(); conference in November.
This announcement from Microsoft shows that the company is finally shedding its restraints and embracing Apple’s software ecosystem to extend the scope of its products. It also comes on the heels of the recent launch of Visual Studio Code, the open source cross-platform text editor for developers on all compatible platforms including Windows, OS X, and Linux.
With this upcoming launch, Microsoft’s primary aim is to provide developers with an exceptional experience that’ll enable them to work on their projects without the restraints of any specific operating system. The new Visual Studio for Mac is a macOS counterpart of the already available and widely used Windows version of the software. Though Redmond has skinned the IDE(integrated development environment) to match the native macOS look but it will look and work exactly like one would expect.
Based on the mobile-first Xamarin Studio IDE, the company has developed a “mobile-first, cloud-first development tool for .NET and C#” in the form of Visual Studio for Macs. Under the hood, familiar functions such as IntelliSense and refactoring still use the Roslyn Compiler Platform, its project system and build engine use MSBuild, and its source editor supports TextMate bundles.
This launch will also enable developers to easily develop apps for one platform and port the same to others using Xamarin. This will grant full access to the native APIs and share common code across platforms. Redmond would be banking on developers to use Visual Studio on Mac to develop iOS apps and then extend support for the same to Windows using the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). This could help Microsoft gain some apps for the Windows platform(probably also Windows Mobile) which has been somewhat lacking on the app front since its launch with Windows 10 last year.
In addition, the true reason behind finally introducing the Visual Studio development client on Mac lies in the rapid development and shift towards cloud architecture. We’re all completely aware of the fact that developers are moving away from localhost servers and saving their app development cycles direct to the cloud. Microsoft is working aggressively to further expand the user base of its Azure cloud services, which is now a priority under the leadership of Satya Nadella.
Thus, Microsoft is working aggressively to expand the user base of its Azure cloud service, which is now a priority under the leadership of Satya Nadella. Visual Studio now comes packed with an Azure-based server backend which supports server development via .NET Core. This can also be seen as one of the reasons why Microsoft is so interested in baking in Linux(and Bash) support within its own operating system.
Stay tuned for more updates and a closer look at the official product upon its release in November.