This week saw Microsoft host its developer conference and announced a host of exciting new tools for iOS and OS X developers.
The first piece of news is that Microsoft will be adding a new toolkit to Visual Studio, which is their development platform, that will allow iOS developers to port their existing iOS apps to the Windows platform.
Microsoft will be adding an Objective-C toolchain and some middleware that will provide iOS APIs that iOS apps are expected. With very little modification you will be able to port your existing app to Windows.
As a demo, developers Kings, showcased their Candy Crush iOS game running on a Windows Phone, claiming only a few percent of code had to be changed in order to port the app.
The second piece of news is that Microsoft are releasing a new Code Editor that will run natively on OS X and Linux, called Visual Studio Code. This is not their full IDE but a new code editor that offers a number of features including:
- IntelliSense code completion
- Support for ASP.NET 5 development with C#
- Includes tools for web technologies such as HTML, CSS, LESS, SASS, and JSON
- GIT repositories
A preview version can be found here
It’s early days yet for these tools and they certainly won’t replace Xcode but it will give Apple developers new opportunities and new markets to target.