Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Visual Studio for Mac Retirement Officially Announced

Visual Studio for Mac Retirement Officially Announced

This item in japanese

In a recent announcement, Microsoft revealed the retirement of Visual Studio for Mac Integrated Development Environment (IDE). As of August 31, 2024, Visual Studio for Mac 17.6 will discontinue receiving support, marking it as the end of an era for Mac-based .NET developers.

As reported, during the final 12 months of support, Microsoft intends to provide essential updates for Visual Studio for Mac, including security patches, bug fixes, and compatibility updates with Apple's platforms. However, it's important to note that no new features, framework support, or language additions will be introduced during this time.

Microsoft's decision to retire Visual Studio for Mac comes as they shift their focus towards optimizing Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code (VS Code) for cross-platform development. Users can expect ongoing investments in these tools to improve their experience.

As expressed in the official announcement blog post by author Anthony Cangialosi, the group product manager at DevDiv:

Informed by ongoing user feedback and usage patterns for Visual Studio for Mac, we’re focusing our efforts on optimizing Visual Studio, accessible through Microsoft Dev Box on any operating system, and the C# Dev Kit for VS Code, which is accessible on any OS.

For existing users wondering about their options, Microsoft suggests transitioning to alternative solutions, including a couple of ones. The first one would be, Visual Studio Code with the C# Dev Kit: Microsoft has recently introduced the C# Dev Kit, .NET MAUI, and Unity Extensions for VS Code

Another one is Visual Studio IDE on Windows in a VM (Virtual Machine) on Mac. For users with specific IDE requirements, such as legacy Xamarin projects or F# development, running the Windows version of Visual Studio in a virtual machine on a Mac is an option.

The last recommendation would be Visual Studio IDE on Windows in a Cloud VM. As reported, Microsoft continues to position Visual Studio as the primary tool for .NET/C# development. Developers can access the Visual Studio through a cloud-hosted VM via Microsoft Dev Box

In addition to the original blog post, Microsoft's decision to retire Visual Studio for Mac has left some users with mixed feelings and huge community feedback through the comment section. Many are worried about the future of cross-platform development, and a few have suggested open-sourcing the software for community-driven development and improvement. For example, a couple of users commented following:

Could you guys open source it and let community maintain it ? I understand a competing product like VS Code is also suitable to many linux devs , but Visual Studio gives an unique experience to C# devs who are used to this tool…

The interesting comment was written by a developer named Miroslav Popovic, with the following content:

Just a speculation at this point, but we might see a team-up between JetBrains and Microsoft, with something like free Rider Community Edition. Or something similar that JetBrains had with Google on Android Studio.

Furthermore, a very interesting and active discussion was also on the X (formerly Twitter) thread by Miguel de Icza, former Xamarin co-founder and ex-Microsoft employee:

Once VisualStudio for Mac killed all its IDE features, it was a matter of time before it was killed. No UI designers, no profiling, lack of tooling for the ecosystems it intended to support (Info.plist). It became just another editor.

Lastly, to get an insight into the various perspectives, it is highly recommended that developers explore the comment section and engage in the ongoing discussion about this announcement from Microsoft.

About the Author

Rate this Article