Microsoft Discontinues Visual Studio For Mac
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 31 August 2023

Microsoft is to cease updates for Visual Studio for Mac. The announcement said that there will be security updates and platform update compatibility for the next 12 months.

Visual Studio for Mac was announced as a preview in November 2016, but in reality while the IDE looked like Visual Studio for Windows, it wasn't. Instead, it was a rebranded version of Xamarin Studio, which worked on the Mac.


According to the announcement made by Anthony Cangialosi Group Product Manager, DevDiv at Microsoft:

"With today’s announcement, we’re redirecting our resources and focus to enhance Visual Studio and VS Code, optimizing them for cross-platform development. No new framework, runtime, or language support will be added to Visual Studio for Mac."

The announcement continued, saying that for the next 12 months Microsoft will continue providing essential updates such as servicing updates for critical bug fixes, security issues, and updated platforms from Apple, adding:

"We will also continue to provide runtime and workload updates so you can continue building and shipping applications built on .NET 6, .NET 7, and the Mono frameworks."

In what is unlikely to be seen as adequate consolation,  Cangialosi said that:

"While not officially supported, we've also enabled rudimentary support for .NET 8 in Visual Studio for Mac for building and debugging applications. We hope with these commitments and the investment in the alternatives below, we can minimize the disruption to your workflow on the Mac."

In a section laying out the options developers will have once Visual Studio for Mac has been 'retired', Cangialosi said there are three main options - to run the Visual Studio IDE on Windows in a VM on Mac, to run Visual Studio IDE on Windows in a VM in the cloud, or to use Visual Studio Code with the new C# Dev Kit and related extensions. 

The option to run Visual Studio on Windows in a VM on the Mac is recommended for legacy project support for Xamarin, F#, and remote development experiences on iOS, while the recently announced C# Dev Kit, .NET MAUI, and Unity Extensions for VS Code operate natively across all supported platforms, including macOS, and Cangialosi says the experience using these will continue to be improved as they move from preview to GA and beyond.


More Information

Visual Studio for Mac Retirement Announcement

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Last Updated ( Friday, 01 September 2023 )