Microsoft's vice president of Developer Division S. Somasegar announced in a blog post yesterday that Visual Studio 15 and .NET 4.6 are both available for download now. Earlier this month, Microsoft revealed that the two pieces of software would launch 9 days ahead of Windows 10 RTM, a goal in which the Redmond-based tech giant has decidedly met.
The 2015 update to Visual Studio bears developer tools for both Android and iOS, a notable diversion from Microsoft's typically exclusive focus on its own software products. Rather than using its developer tools to promote Windows, Microsoft seems to be devising a cross-platform productivity utility with Visual Studio 2015, incorporating compatibility with game engines like Unity and even adding a "high performance" Visual Studio emulator for Android.
"Mobile development is increasingly about building mobile experiences that run across many mobile platforms," Somasegar writes. "Visual Studio 2015 includes cross-platform mobile development tools for building applications targeting iOS, Android and Windows, and offers developers choice in what languages and technologies to use to develop their mobile applications."
Supplementing its clear concentration on mobile, Visual Studio 2015 also brings improved support for C++ 11/14/17 as well as TypeScript 1.5, F# 4.0, Python, and "dozens" of other programming languages.
And, as for .NET developers, Visual Studio now allows for the creation of Universal Windows Apps for a variety of devices including desktops, phones, IoT, and Hololens. Plus, in conjunction with Xamarin's C# compilers, Visual Studio 2015 developers are now capable of building native iOS, Android, and Windows apps over a single, shared codebase.
An increasing range of coding languages and supported platforms may be exciting for eager programmers looking to take advantage of Microsoft's shiny new array of tools, but the verdict is still out on whether Visual Studio 2015 stands a fighting chance against Xcode or Google's Android Developer Studio. Nevertheless, anyone interested in giving it a shot can now download the tools here.