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Visual Studio running on OS X and Linux for free? SO close

Microsoft's new cross-platform editor show non-Windows devs some love

Build 2015 Microsoft has expanded its Visual Studio line of software development tools to platforms other than Windows for the first time.

No, Redmond hasn't ported its full Visual Studio IDE. But it has launched a new product in the VS line called Visual Studio Code, which offers some of the tools that Windows platform developers have enjoyed over the years but runs on Windows, Linux, and OS X.

Speaking at the annual Build developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Microsoft cloud and enterprise honcho Scott Guthrie described Visual Studio code as "a lightweight code-optimized editor" that integrates with the Visual Studio Online hosted service.

Although other code editors can do things like syntax coloring and autocomplete, Guthrie said, Visual Studio Code offers "full Intellisense," meaning it offers the sophisticated code completion and formatting tools that Microsoft built for its full-fat Visual Studio IDE.

It achieves this by integrating with Redmond's Roslyn compiler-as-a-service tech and the OmniSharp tools and libraries for cross-platform .Net, Guthrie said.

In addition to code editing, the new tool offers support for in-editor debugging, and it integrates with the Git source code management software.

"I think this makes the point that Visual Studio is now a family of tools for every developer and Azure is the backend for everyone," Guthrie said.

Visual Studio Code will be available as a free download for Windows, Linux, and OS X, Guthrie said, and the first "preview" versions will be available beginning on Wednesday at the Visual Studio website, here. Do make sure you read the fine print – crash dumps will be sent to Microsoft, and if you don't like it, don't install it. ®

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