Visual Studio code editor comes to Mac, Linux

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Microsoft adds Visual Studio Code to its expanding collection of cross-platform tools

In another gesture toward cross-platform tools, Microsoft has introduced Visual Studio Code, a code editor for building Web applications on Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.

Detailed at the recent Build conference in San Francisco, Visual Studio Code combines a streamlined UI of a modern text editor with code assistance, navigation, and integrated debugging, Microsoft's S. Somasegar said in a blog post. "At its heart, Visual Studio Code features a powerful, fast code editor great for day-to-day use," he said. "The Code editor includes keyboard support with customizable bindings, syntax highlighting, bracket matching, auto indent, and snippets, and support for dozens of languages, and scales to instantly open large and small files alike."

Available in a preview mode, Visual Studio Code features a tools services architecture for rich code analysis support for C# and TypeScript. "In future previews, we will be opening up the public extensibility model for Code, enabling an even broader range of rich language integrations with Visual Studio Code," Somasegar said.

The Visual Studio Code tool is not alone in Microsoft's efforts to branch out and become more cross-platform in the tools space. Visual Studio 2015, now available as a release candidate, also features tools for building cross-platform apps, Somasegar said. It has tooling for Python and Node.js, which certainly are not traditional Microsoft development platforms, as well as C#, Visual Basic and F#.

Microsoft also has made previews available of its .Net Core runtime and libraries for Linux and Mac OS X. .Net Core features a modular development stack, with the intent of making .Net cross-platform. It has included the ASP.Net Web framework and .Net Native, to compile C# code to machine code.

The company made a big splash at Build with plans to enable developers to move Google Android and Apple iOS code over to Windows 10 via Windows Platform Bridge tool kits. It remains to be seen how much interest developers will take, given the large market shares of Android and iOS.

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