Microsoft is hoping to persuade more developers to create Windows apps by bringing its main coding environment – Visual Studio – to the Mac for the first time. Previously, developers had to use a Windows machine or run a virtual machine on a Mac to write Windows software.
The company seemingly intended to make the announcement at its Connect() developer conference on Wednesday, but The Verge spotted that Microsoft accidentally released the information early in a now-deleted blog post.
Microsoft said that Visual Studio for Mac was designed to be a direct counterpart to the Windows version, though it would not fully achieve this aim from the outset …
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. And like Visual Studio for Windows, it’s complemented by Visual Studio Code for times when you don’t need a full IDE, but want a lightweight yet rich standalone source editor.
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 company said that the Mac version uses the same under-the-hood tools of the Roslyn Compiler Platform and MSBuild, and it seemingly leans heavily on app development platform Xamarin Studio. It supports both C# and F# languages.