Microsoft Visual Studio is a well-known Integrated Development Environment (IDE), primarily used to develop applications for the company’s Windows operating system as well as websites and Web-based apps. Since Visual Studio 2015, developers are also able to create apps for Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux, apart from Windows.
On Wednesday at the Microsoft Connect(); 2016 conference in New York, a Mac version of the suite was unveiled as tipped by leaked documents earlier this week. The preview version, now available for download from Microsoft's website, will let developers build native apps for cloud, iOS, Android, and macOS, using C#, a general-purpose object-oriented language developed by Microsoft. Notably, it will not let Mac users develop for Windows.
But as reported earlier this week by Ars Technica, this isn’t the actual Visual Studio that’s coming to macOS, but rather a re-branded version of Xamarin Studio, a cross-platform C# development environment. The California-based maker of this software, Xamarin, was acquired by Microsoft early this year. What this means of course is what Microsoft is launching is very different from Visual Studio available on Windows, with the latter being a more capable product.
In the meanwhile, Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2017 for Windows as a release candidate in Community, Professional, and Enterprise editions. Visual Studio 2017 RC is touted to have several improvements with the biggest change making it easier to install, upgrade, and uninstall the software. Other changes include improvements for speed, code navigation, IntelliSense, debugging, and more.
Microsoft has been on a path to embrace open-source technologies more lately; on Wednesday it announced it would join The Linux Foundation as a Platinum member. Under the wing of CEO Satya Nadella, the motto of Visual Studio today plainly says - “Any developer, Any App, Any Platform”.