There is a new tool in Mobile Developer town, Mac country

Visual Studio for Mac

Who said that Oldschool enterprises can’t change for the good? Big ‘ol Microsoft has been rejuvenating itself and they are taking their new path serious! Ever since they started embracing open source and other OS’s like Mac OS Microsoft has shown the world that they want to be cross-platform and open minded for, and work on helping developers of all trades to get value from their products and services.

Microsoft’s sales focus is shifting more and more from selling software licenses towards selling Azure- and SaaS (like MSDN and Visual Studio Online) subscriptions. Luckily, for us developers, that means they also benefit from providing quality development tools and IDE’s. The widely accepted development IDE Visual Studio Code, which is available for both Windows and Mac OS, is a good example of the fruits that their new strategy is providing for the developer community.

During the opening keynote for the Connect 2016 2 day event, Microsoft announced another great asset for the Mac OS based development : Visual Studio for Mac!

Read more about the Mac version of this mature and very complete developer IDE after the break!

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That’s right, the full-featured Microsoft development IDE Visual Studio has been released (as a Preview) for the Mac OS platform!

As explained in the official announcement on the Visual Studio Blog, the initial focus lies on mobile development (Xamarin) and easy integration with Azure Services (like Azure Notification Hub and Application services).

The announcement states:

“Visual Studio for Mac is a developer environment optimized for building mobile and cloud apps with Xamarin and .NET. It is a one-stop shop for .NET development on the Mac, including Android, iOS, and .NET Core technologies.
Sporting a native user interface, Visual Studio for Mac integrates all of the tools you need to create, debug, test, and publish mobile and server applications without compromise, including state of the art APIs and UI designers for Android and iOS.”

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It doesn’t mean that you can’t develop an MVC Razor-based project, or even a Console app. As you can see in the images below, those project types are available. That just ain’t where the focus is at right now.

Visual Studio For Mac - Xamarin projects

VSfM – Xamarin projects

Visual Studio For Mac - ASP.NET Projects

VSfM – ASP.NET Projects

Visual Studio For Mac - Other Project Types

VSfM – Other Projects






The “Connected App” project template shows the mobile-first focus. When you start a Connected App project it will create a solution with both a Xamarin.Forms project AND an ASP.NET Core mobile services app. With this, you can get quickly up to speed on creating a solution with the mobile app and Azure connectivity under its wings.

Allthough this is a first version and still a Preview, this is a great development that will help developers on Mac OS systems to get rid of the need to use memory hogging VM solutions to develop with Visual Studio.

If this trend will continue, who knows what we will end up with? Maybe a better world where all developers are treated equal, unregarding their platform, OS or tooling preferences.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?