Microsoft pushes portability of experience with latest Visual Studio

Microsoft has been focused on making its own applications portable – now it wants Windows developers writing cross-platform.

With just a week to go before Microsoft releases Windows 10, the next version of its desktop operating system (OS), the company has introduced Visual Studio 2015 and .Net 4.6.

Soma Somesegar, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president of the developer division, described the next Visual Studio release as "an exciting next step for developer tools from Microsoft" in a blog post.

According to Somesegar, the latest version improves the productivity of existing Visual Studio users and offers a platform for developers targeting a wider range of platforms and programming models.

Visual Studio 2015 includes cross-platform mobile development tools for building applications targeting iOS, Android and Windows. In addition, it offers developers a choice in what languages and technologies to use to develop their mobile applications, he wrote.

The development tool also supports cloud development. It includes the latest Azure software development kit, providing what Somesegar describes as one-click provisioning and deployment to Azure for websites and cloud services, along with easy management of cloud resources. 

"Whether your application is using infrastructure as a service or platform as a service in Azure, built with .Net, Python or Node.js, or deploying to Windows or Linux or Docker containers, the cloud tools in Visual Studio 2015 let you easily integrate with Azure," he said.

Earlier in 2015, Microsoft released Visual Studio Code in a bid to expand the appeal of the development tool beyond Windows to Mac and Linux developers. 

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The free development tool supports Xamarin, the open-source implementation of .Net and C#, allowing developers to write the same code that can be moved to other operating system platforms without modification.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has previously spoken about portability of experience. The latest version of Visual Studio is at the forefront of this strategy, offering traditional Windows developers a way to build applications across platforms such as iOS, Android and Mac OS X.

Microsoft Office 2016 for the Mac, which was released in July 2015, also demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to becoming more portable. The fact that Mac users get Microsoft’s flagship Office Suite before Windows users is arguably a public relations stunt, but with Windows 10 just a few days away, the company has shown it is taking portability of user experience seriously.

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