Microsoft Unveils Tools for Android, Azure, iOS, Linux, Office, Windows

At its annual Connect(); developer event, Microsoft introduced new tools and services for a variety of platforms, from Windows to iOS and Android.

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NEW YORK—Microsoft made a host of developer-related announcements, delivering new and updated tools to reinforce its commitment to become all things to all developers.

At the company’s annual Connect(); developer event here today Microsoft introduced several new and updated developer tools and programs from Visual Studio, Azure, Office and Windows, including many new free offers.

In an interview with eWEEK, Julia Liuson, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Visual Studio, said Microsoft is working to help all developers be successful with tools that enable innovative scenarios.

Building on its proven history of innovation with the .NET Framework and Visual Studio, Microsoft is empowering more developers by introducing several new free tools and services, including the newly announced Visual Studio Dev Essentials, a new free program designed to provide developers with everything needed to create applications on any device or operating system, using their technology of choice.

The Visual Studio Dev Essentials program provides easy access to popular Microsoft developer services, tools and resources, as well as several new benefits to help developers get started building apps. Visual Studio Dev Essentials benefits will include access to the Visual Studio Community, Visual Studio Code and new Visual Studio Team Services; priority forums support; Parallels Desktop for Mac; training from Pluralsight Wintellect and Xamarin; a $25 monthly Azure credit coming early next calendar year; and more. Further details are available here.

Liuson noted that Microsoft has seen significant momentum with its developer platform since last year’s Connect(); event, where the company launched efforts to open-source much of the .NET platform. Over the past several months there have been more than five million Visual Studio 2015 downloads, more than seven million Visual Studio Community downloads, more than one million downloads of Visual Studio Code Preview, and 3.6 million registered Visual Studio Online users, she said.

“We’re really passionate about delivering amazing experiences for all of our developers,” Liuson said.

Microsoft’s developer platform is open by design, allowing developers to target any device and platform, including iOS, Android, Linux and Windows. The company today released new versions of popular tools that further enable developers to quickly create innovative apps and services. Microsoft released Visual Studio Code beta as an open-source project, available on GitHub. Visual Studio Code is an advanced code editor and part of the Visual Studio family that runs on Linux, OS X and Windows, and has been already downloaded more than one million times in preview. The new beta version includes a new extension model with a gallery of extensions for additional features, themes and language support.

“I think the most important moves we’re making here are introducing Visual Studio Dev Essentials and making Visual Studio Code available to the open-source community,” Liuson told eWEEK. “Visual Studio Dev Essentials is the first time we’re making all of our tools and services available to any developer on the planet. And opening up Visual Studio Code is key to developers on different platforms. Combining the two will be quite eye-opening and empowering.”

Microsoft also delivered release candidates (RC) of .NET Core 5 and ASP.NET 5 for Linux, Windows and OS X. With this implementation of the .NET Core for any operating system, developers can start using it in production environments.