Microsoft is retiring its Visual Studio for Mac IDE. The company advises developers on Mac to seek alternatives such as the C# Dev Kit for Visual Studio Code and other extensions that enable .NET development.
Citing ongoing user feedback and usage patterns for Visual Studio for Mac, Microsoft on August 30 said it is now focusing efforts on optimising its Visual Studio IDE, available through the Microsoft Dev Box service on Azure for developers on any OS, and also the C# Dev Kit for VS Code, also available for any OS. With the retirement, Visual Studio for Mac 17.6 will be supported until August 31, 2024.
Microsoft said it is redirecting resources to enhance both Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code and optimise them for cross-platform development. No new framework, language support, or runtime will be added to Visual Studio for Mac. For the next year, the company will provide essential updates such as servicing updates for critical bug fixes, security issues, and updated Apple platforms.
Runtime and workload updates also will be provided so that developers can continue building applications on the .NET 6, .NET 7, and Mono frameworks. While .NET 8 is not officially supported, the company also has enabled rudimentary support for .NET 8 in Visual Studio for Mac for building and debugging applications.
Microsoft recommends the following alternatives to Visual Studio for Mac:
- Recently announced C# Dev Kit, .NET Maui, and Unity extensions for Visual Studio Code, which are available in preview. These extensions, which augment Visual Studio Codeâ€™s capabilities for C# and .NET developers, operate natively across all supported platforms including macOS. The experience using these will continue to be improved as they move from preview to general availability and beyond, Microsoft said.
- Visual Studio on Windows in a virtual machine on Mac, which offers legacy project support for Xamarin, F#, and remote development on iOS via a VM.
- Visual Studio on Windows in a VM in the cloud, via Microsoft Dev Box.
As of August 31, 2024, Visual Studio for Mac will be available as a legacy installation only via my.visualstudio.com for users with Visual Studio subscriptions, but it will no longer be maintained or serviced. Users with support agreements will have access to technical support until August 31, 2024.