Microsoft releases M1-native Visual Studio Code for developing apps

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Microsoft's app development software Visual Studio Code has been updated to run natively on Apple Silicon M1.

Apple M1


Microsoft's long-standing app development software, Visual Studio Code, has now been released a native M1 version that no longer requires Apple's Rosetta 2 to run.

"We are happy to announce our first release of stable Apple Silicon builds [with] this iteration," says Microsoft in a blog post about Visual Studio Code 1.54.1. "Users on Macs with M1 chips can now use VS Code without emulation with Rosetta, and will notice better performance and longer battery life when running VS Code."

Microsoft thanks "the community for self-hosting with the Insiders [test] build" and for how they were "reporting issues early in the iteration."

By default, downloading the macOS edition of Visual Studio Code gets a Universal version which contains both Intel and Apple Silicon code. However, Microsoft has also made available "architecture-specific builds for Intel or Apple Silicon, which are smaller downloads compared to the Universal package."

It's now three months since the first Apple Silicon Macs shipped, and eight since the Developer Transition Kit was released. Developers are steadily converting their apps to take advantage of the M1 processor, but there is still some considerable way to go.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 715member
    Seems good news even I am not much familiar with development.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    xbitxbit Posts: 276member
    I wonder how much work was involved - was it a case of Microsoft simply upgrading to Electron 11 or was there additional work that needed doing?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,399member
    I’m sure this was a fairly small hurdle because of Electron already being ported. But it’s still a very good thing. I like VS Code and have it setup as my default text editor mostly because it’s available on all of the platforms I use, including Raspberry Pi OS (64-bit). There’s even a 32-bit port for older Linux distributions. Still waiting for an iOS port.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    cloudguycloudguy Posts: 323member
    VSCode isn't "Microsoft's long-standing app development software." That would be Visual Studio. VSCode is a free, lightweight open source tiny subset of Visual Studio that was released in order to stop the bleeding of scripting programmers - i.e. Javascript and Python - from Visual Studio to competing free and open source scripting IDEs. The older IDEs - Visual Studio, NetBeans, Eclipse etc. - were designed around full blown programming languages like C++ and Java. But for scripting languages full blown IDEs were overkill. In addition in some instances the IDEs were proprietary software that cost a ton of money and aren't available on all platforms (see Visual Studio Enterprise). 

    Basically, Javascript is replacing Java for a ton of client (Angular and Express) and server (node.js) for a bunch of applications ... the MEAN stack is now supplanting the LAMP stack - the rage 10 to 15 years ago - for ecommerce sites. (C/C++ was never widely used for web servers and applications, though it is very possible to do so, and Microsoft has made some attempts to push it with their IIS web servers.) And then you have Python and R used for data science. Microsoft was losing a huge chunk of the next generation of programmers, so they created and open-sourced VS Code to get them back. Fortunately for them VS Code is excellent software so that plus the Microsoft name worked like a charm: it is the de facto standard. Including for people who are now using it for Java and C++ instead of Visual Studio. 
    muthuk_vanalingamStrangeDaysjony0bala1234beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 5 of 13
    cloudguycloudguy Posts: 323member
    xbit said:
    I wonder how much work was involved - was it a case of Microsoft simply upgrading to Electron 11 or was there additional work that needed doing?
    Not a lot of work as Linux ARM versions of VSCode were already available. Unlike Visual Studio, which is 100% Microsoft proprietary software, VSCode was an open source project from the beginning making it an easy port to various architectures. There was also no real rush ... not many programmers are going to be using the entry level devices anyway. They are waiting on devices that have more than 16 GB of RAM and - in particular - support more than 2 screens. So when the 16' MBP, the Mac Mini Pro etc. launch with 32 and 64 GB RAM versions that support up to 4 monitors this year, VSCode will be ready and waiting for them (as will be Javascript, Python and OpenJDK Java.)
    muthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 6 of 13
    cloudguycloudguy Posts: 323member
    dewme said:
    Still waiting for an iOS port.
    Huh? Apple never has and never will allow the execution of arbitrary code on any version of iOS. Security reasons. So no IDE except Apple's own Swift will ever be allowed on iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs etc. because you won't be able to run any code that you write on it. That was one of the main reasons why so many of us cried foul at Apple's thoroughly dishonest "an iPad can replace your PC" ad campaign. 

    So if you want to run VSCode or anything else on your tablet, get a Chromebook. Or if you want to pay twice as much for no particular reason, get a Microsoft Surface. VSCode runs on the x86 and ARM versions of both.

    Interestingly enough you CAN execute arbitrary code on Android, which would allow you to program on it - especially in C/C++ - but there hasn't been a real effort to take advantage of it, even on the expensive devices offered by Samsung. (And now that you can get a full Debian-like Linux container in ChromeOS, there won't be.)
    edited March 5 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 13
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,399member
    cloudguy said:
    dewme said:
    Still waiting for an iOS port.
    Huh? Apple never has and never will allow the execution of arbitrary code on any version of iOS. Security reasons. So no IDE except Apple's own Swift will ever be allowed on iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs etc. because you won't be able to run any code that you write on it. That was one of the main reasons why so many of us cried foul at Apple's thoroughly dishonest "an iPad can replace your PC" ad campaign. 

    So if you want to run VSCode or anything else on your tablet, get a Chromebook. Or if you want to pay twice as much for no particular reason, get a Microsoft Surface. VSCode runs on the x86 and ARM versions of both.

    Interestingly enough you CAN execute arbitrary code on Android, which would allow you to program on it - especially in C/C++ - but there hasn't been a real effort to take advantage of it, even on the expensive devices offered by Samsung. (And now that you can get a full Debian-like Linux container in ChromeOS, there won't be.)

    You're right, this would not be a straight "port" situation, but something more along the lines of what is being done for Cordova/PhoneGap. But that still doesn't remove the XCode-on-a-Mac dependency for development. From a pure editing situation I'm more than happy with Textastic on macOS, iOS, iPadOS. But I really would like to be able to have a cross platform development capability that reaches down to iOS, something beyond Shortcuts. Shortcuts is actually more sophisticated than what appears at first glance, and it is technically a programming capability that runs on iOS, but it's still too heavy & clumsy & limited compared to a traditional programming or scripting language and IDE. I guess we'll just have to wait until Apple moves a version of XCode to iOS/iPadOS.
    mcdave
  • Reply 8 of 13
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 392member
    cloudguy said:
    Fortunately for them VS Code is excellent software so that plus the Microsoft name worked like a charm: it is the de facto standard. Including for people who are now using it for Java and C++ instead of Visual Studio. 
    I disagree - it is a shitty piece of software that caters to the lowest common denominator (at least on the Mac).  It doesn't even follow standard macOS keyboard shortcuts, etc.  Simply an Electron app that runs crappy, and almost runs everywhere.
    jdb8167
  • Reply 9 of 13
    focherfocher Posts: 673member
    The Insider Edition has supported the M1 since early / mid December. 
  • Reply 10 of 13
    Until MS releases SQL Server for Mac, VS is really going to be useful only on Windows.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    croprcropr Posts: 1,034member
    Until MS releases SQL Server for Mac, VS is really going to be useful only on Windows.
    This is about VS Code not VS.   There is no difference between the Windows version, the Mac version or the Linux version of VS Code.  The developers of my software development company use it on all 3 platforms.
    nicholfd said:

    I disagree - it is a shitty piece of software that caters to the lowest common denominator (at least on the Mac).  It doesn't even follow standard macOS keyboard shortcuts, etc.  Simply an Electron app that runs crappy, and almost runs everywhere.
    That "shitty" piece of software has become market leader for Javascript and Python IDEs in less than 2 years and not without reason.   Only PyCharm (for Python)  and Webstorm (for Javascript) can be considered as real competition, but these tools cost a lot, while VS Code is free.  The rest of the IDEs on Mac just lack the feature set of the thousand plugins available for VS Code. And by the way you can easily change the keyboard shortcuts if you don't like them.
    jdb8167muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 13
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 595member
    cloudguy said:
    dewme said:
    Still waiting for an iOS port.
    Huh? Apple never has and never will allow the execution of arbitrary code on any version of iOS. Security reasons. So no IDE except Apple's own Swift will ever be allowed on iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs etc. because you won't be able to run any code that you write on it. That was one of the main reasons why so many of us cried foul at Apple's thoroughly dishonest "an iPad can replace your PC" ad campaign. 


    Not true. First of all Apple has never had a problem with running JavaScript on the iPad. Second Pythonista is a long time python IDE on iOS & iPadOS. There are also environments for Lua and probably others that I’m unaware of. 
  • Reply 13 of 13
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 595member
    cropr said:
    Until MS releases SQL Server for Mac, VS is really going to be useful only on Windows.
    This is about VS Code not VS.   There is no difference between the Windows version, the Mac version or the Linux version of VS Code.  The developers of my software development company use it on all 3 platforms.
    nicholfd said:

    I disagree - it is a shitty piece of software that caters to the lowest common denominator (at least on the Mac).  It doesn't even follow standard macOS keyboard shortcuts, etc.  Simply an Electron app that runs crappy, and almost runs everywhere.
    That "shitty" piece of software has become market leader for Javascript and Python IDEs in less than 2 years and not without reason.   Only PyCharm (for Python)  and Webstorm (for Javascript) can be considered as real competition, but these tools cost a lot, while VS Code is free.  The rest of the IDEs on Mac just lack the feature set of the thousand plugins available for VS Code. And by the way you can easily change the keyboard shortcuts if you don't like them.
    Seems to be a bit of a battery hog though. I downloaded it and let it sit with a single window open in the background and the battery menu extra reported that it was using significant energy. I closed the window but let it continue in background and the drain seemed to stop. 
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