Microsoft made the huge move of bringing a preview of Visual Studio to the Mac back in November. Today, during its Build event in Seattle, Microsoft announced the software is now ready for general availability.
Of course, developers has been trying Visual Studio on Mac in preview form for some time, but general availability marks a milestone as Microsoft continues its campaign to become a company that supports developers no matter what platform they’re using. It’s probably the biggest step the company has taken to that effect since it added a friggin Linux terminal to Windows last year.
Visual Studio is one of the most popular IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) out there. Though it’s traditionally been used for Windows apps, the addition of Xamarin – which lets you share code across iOS, Android, UWP apps and more – last year was a huge step towards making Visual Studio as a serious IDE for mobile apps as well.
That cross-platform compatibility is going to be increasingly important for Microsoft as it tries to push Windows 10 S into the limelight. Given Windows 10 S can only install software from the Microsoft Store, the company needs to prove that it can actually attract developers – particularly Android and iOS developers – to the Universal Windows Platform.
The easiest way to do that is to simply let them re-use the code they’ve already created for other platforms, which Xamarin enables. And with Visual Studio now on the Mac now, teams can work together using Microsoft tools on the device of their choice, too.
Granted, I doubt many developers using Macs will be interested in making UWP apps for Windows 10 – but hey, it’s a start, and it makes it easier for developers to eventually transition their apps to Windows some day if they so choose. Now Microsoft just needs to convince developers that’s a worthwhile endeavor.
To download Visual Studio for the Mac and learn more, head on over to Microsoft’s hub page here.
Follow all our coverage of Microsoft’s Build conference here.