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Microsoft to Announce Visual Studio for Mac

| by Abel Avram Follow 9 Followers on Nov 15, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

The MSDN Blog briefly published a post on Visual Studio for Mac then they took it down because the new product is supposed to be announced at Microsoft Connect(), which is to take place from Nov 16-18, 2016. A copy of the page can be accessed on Google’s cache.

Tomorrow, Microsoft will probably announce the preview release of Visual Studio for Mac, an IDE tool for .NET developers who prefer Apple’s hardware and OS. The tool’s name is a bit confusing because while this IDE offers some of the features of the standard Visual Studio known on Windows, beneath the surface it is an enhanced Xamarin Studio. VS for Mac is meant to provide developers a somewhat familiar interface integrated with many VS capabilities.

VS for Mac targets .NET application development for Mac, iOS, and Android via Xamarin technologies which include a cross-platform solution for those operating systems. It also supports server development backed by the Azure cloud. The languages supported are C# and F#.

Other important features of the new IDE are: Intellisense, refactoring, code analyzer and fixes, integration with the Roslyn compiler, MSBuild and support for TextMate bundles. .NET Core and ASP.NET Core are supported out of the box.  The existing extension mechanism allows taking the tool even further, adding support for other languages, editor features, project types, etc.. While the overall user interface reminds of VS, the look and feel are those of a Mac application.

VS for Mac represents a major change in how Microsoft handles other operating systems, platforms and open source in general. If in the past there was no hope to see such a tool on Mac, now developers have the option to choose between VS for Mac and VS Code. It is not yet clear why they are pushing all these IDEs, but time will tell. The most logical solution is one IDE that is cross platform and browser-based. VS Code would be that IDE but it is still immature compared to the standard VS. It is not unlikely to see VS Code as the main .NET IDE when it becomes as feature rich as VS.

The Visual Studio for Mac preview will be available for download from VisualStudio.com after the product will be announced at Connect().

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VS Code is an Editor while VS is an IDE by Desmond Nzuza

I could be wrong but my understanding is that VS Code is a code editor whilst Visual Studio is a full Integrated Development Environment. The article seems to consider both as IDEs. Is this because Microsoft is blurring the lines between the two? I'm interested to see how different VS for Mac will be from VS for Windows. VS for windows carries a lot of legacy with it.

Re: VS Code is an Editor while VS is an IDE by Abel Avram

I would say that VS Code is also an IDE, although much simpler than VS. A code editor is simply a tool that lets one edit text. When a tool includes Intellisense, refactoring, debugging, and a mechanism for adding all sorts of extensions it goes beyond being an editor. But, of course, comparing it with VS, the differences are so great that VS Code is labeled by many as a code editor.

Re: VS Code is an Editor while VS is an IDE by Desmond Nzuza

Makes sense. Thank you for the wonderful article.

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