The Mac edition is currently available only in a free preview build, but takes advantage of technology Microsoft acquired from Xamarin to support C# development for iOS, macOS, Windows, and Android, including access to the Xamarin Test Cloud. For server-based projects, the app supports Azure and .NET Core.
Features of Visual Studio for Mac include integration with NuGet packages, Git, and Subversion. The preview also includes Intellisense code completion, visual designers, and universal search across files, types, members, commands, and more.
While Microsoft has long attempted to lock developers into its Windows platform with a Windows-only version of the app development platform, the company has begun shifting its money-making focus from Windows to its cloud operations. The platform-agnostic move comes as developers move away from locally hosted apps to using cloud-based servers, such as those offered by Microsoft’s Azure platform, and Amazon’s AWS offering.
With a cross-platform capable Visual Studio, Microsoft opens its development tools to professionals who want to create on any operating system. It will offer Mac-based developers the ability to develop for Windows, without the need to purchase a Windows machine, or setup a virtual machine to use Visual Studio.