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Microsoft brings Visual Studio Code, .NET Core preview to Mac

Presenting at its Build developer conference on Wednesday, Microsoft announced the first version of Visual Studio compatible with Mac and Linux, Visual Studio Code.

The newly released software lets users develop code in .NET, JavaScript, and a number of other frameworks and languages. Microsoft described the app as "incredibly lightweight," but with features such as Git version tracking and full IntelliSense support. IntelliSense attempts to automatically detect problems like bad syntax or spelling mistakes.

Previously Visual Studio was a Windows-only platform. Its arrival on the Mac is reflective of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's policy towards cross-platform products, which has been more open than that of his predecessor, Steve Ballmer. Under Nadella's tenure, the company has for instance released a number of Office apps for iOS and Android.

Accompanying the launch is a preview release of .NET Core runtime distributions for Mac and Linux. Like Visual Studio, the .NET software framework was previously Windows-oriented. In November, however, Microsoft revealed plans to make .NET both cross-platform and open-source.