Microsoft has announced that Visual Studio for Mac will only be supported for one year, although it has received consistent updates in recent months.
- Microsoft is abandoning Visual Studio for Mac, it may support the final release in 2022, surprising considering the support it has recently received.
- The sudden closure of the program is not clear, but users have one year to change it. Support for the latest release will end in 2024.
- Visual Studio for Mac can be used to develop Mac applications with Xamarin and C#, lacking access to Windows applications. Microsoft recommends alternatives such as the C# Dev Kit for Visual Studio Code or running Windows in a VM for development.
Microsoft has announced that Visual Studio for Mac is being retired, with the final release, version 17.6, ending next year.
It’s surprising because Visual Studio 17 has received support from Microsoft until a few months ago. The latest major update was released in June, and previous updates added functionality such as Hot Exit, as well as improved visual performance.
It’s unclear why the program is shutting down suddenly, but users of Visual Studio for Mac have a year to do so. Microsoft says that the latest release will be supported until August 31, 2024, which is a relatively short period of support for a product that is in development until recently.
Visual Studio for Mac was an interesting feature, however, as it could not be used to develop Windows applications, even though it was a Microsoft tool. It only supports Mac applications using Xamarin (which Microsoft acquired in 2016) and C#, as well as console applications in C++. To be clear, Visual Studio on Windows does not allow you to develop Mac applications, so the limits go both ways. But Xamarin was a platform that allowed developers to create apps for iOS, Android, and Windows, and the last part wasn’t possible on the Mac.
If you are using Visual Studio for Mac, Microsoft recommends that you switch to using the C# Dev Kit for Visual Studio Code, which is still available for Mac and online. Additional extensions such as .NET MAUI and Unity are also available to help make platform development easier for Mac users. Alternatively, Microsoft says you can run Windows in a VM or use the Microsoft Dev Box, which gives you a cloud-based VM for development. This will allow you to continue using basic tools like Xamarin and F#.