Visual Studio for Mac: Microsoft publishes details a little early

The news was supposed to come later this week, but someone jumped the gun

Visual Studio for Mac: Microsoft publishes details a little early
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images for Microsoft

Premature publication of news is a common mistake on both our end and that of vendors. Today was Microsoft's turn to suffer an oops with the premature announcement that it is bringing its flagship development tool to the Mac. 

Microsoft will be hosting its Connect(); 2016 developer conference in New York City later this week, which will be the launch grounds for Visual Studio for Mac, but for whatever reason, the news was published early to an MSDN blog. 

Several sites, including TechCrunch and Neowin, got the news before the blog post was taken down, although a cached version is available from Google.

In the announcement, Microsoft notes this version of Visual Studio offers the mobile-centric Xamarin Studio IDE as a "true mobile-first, cloud-first development tool for .NET and C#," along with bringing the Visual Studio development experience to the Mac for the first time. 

"At its heart, Visual Studio for Mac is a macOS counterpart of the Windows version of Visual Studio. 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," wrote Mikayla Hutchinson, a senior program manager at Microsoft. 

Visual Studio for Mac also has a lot in common with its Windows brother, but not everything. Its IntelliSense and refactoring use the Roslyn Compiler Platform; its project system and build engine use MSBuild; and its source editor supports TextMate bundles. It uses the same debugger engines for Xamarin and .NET Core apps, and it uses the same designers for Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android.

However, Hutchinson's post also says it doesn’t support all of the Visual Studio project types, but she does not say which project types are not supported. For those that are, team members on macOS and Windows can seamlessly share their projects across platforms without conversion or migration. 

Connect() takes place Nov. 16-18. Scott Guthrie, head of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, will deliver the keynote address.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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