Continuing its efforts to make Windows app development as simple as possible for developers no matter their platform, Microsoft is bringing Visual Studio to Mac.
In the past, developers would either have to run Windows or use a virtual machine of the OS on Mac to access Visual Studio. Microsoft planned to make the announcement on Wednesday during its Connect() developer conference but The Verge spotted the information in a blog post which has since been deleted.
While designed to be familiar to Visual Studio on Windows, the macOS version will appear like a native Mac application. “If you enjoy the Visual Studio development experience, but need or want to use macOS, you should feel right at home. Its UX is inspired by Visual Studio, yet designed to look and feel like a native citizen of macOS,” wrote Microsoft in their blog post.
Although the Visual Studio app for Mac will not have all the features of its Windows version at launch, Microsoft is aiming for it to be a direct counterpart with feature parity between the versions further down the line.
“Compatibility is a key focus of Visual Studio for Mac. Although it’s a new product and doesn’t support all of the Visual Studio project types, for those it does have in common it uses the same MSBuild solution and project format. If you have team members on macOS and Windows, or switch between the two OSes yourself, you can seamlessly share your projects across platforms. There’s no need for any conversion or migration.”
The most important features of Visual Studio have made the initial release including Visual Studio Code, the Roslyn Compiler Platform, and MSBuild. Both the C# and F# languages are supported.
Microsoft has taken a different approach under Satya Nadella and is focusing primarily on its lucrative cloud business while supporting developers on whatever platform they choose rather than locking them into Windows. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced it would be adding native support for Linux command line Bash to great applause.
A preview build of Visual Studio for macOS is expected on Wednesday along with the official announcement.
Do you think Visual Studio for macOS will encourage Windows development? Let us know in the comments.