Microsoft to end support for Visual Studio on Mac entirely

Visual Studio on MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

Microsoft has announced that it will be ending support for the app on August 31, 2024.

For those unaware, the app debuted on the Mac in 2016, and allows developers to create apps for both Mac and Windows. The latest update, 17.6, brought full support for Apple silicon Macs, but it looks like this will now be the last major update.

In a blog post, the company recommends using a virtual machine to use Windows within macOS once support ends. Using apps like Parallels Desktop and VMWare will be able to let you do this.

It’s a sudden move by Microsoft, especially as Visual Studio was recently updated, and developers on forums are already expressing their shock and frustration with this decision. But it could be part of a bigger plan by Microsoft which is yet to be confirmed. It’s been bringing out new services in the cloud recently, such as Windows 365. So it’s made some wonder if developing Windows apps in the cloud could be in Visual Studio’s future on a Mac, as well as Windows.

Laying the groundwork for developing apps in the cloud? - iMore’s Take

Windows 365 could be a hint towards the future of Visual Studio on the Mac. It’s an interesting product from the company, as you can use a web browser to sign in and use your apps and files just like you would with a local PC.

While it’s currently available for business customers, it could easily be made available to regular users, or perhaps as a big tentpole feature for its next rumored update, Windows 12.

The same could apply to Microsoft’s other apps that have yet to be made available in the cloud. Microsoft 365 has long supported accessing Office apps like Word and Excel from a browser. Using Visual Studio from Safari would only be a natural progression.

Apple announced something slightly similar back in 2020 called Xcode Cloud. It lets developers use parts of Apple’s coding platform in the cloud and allows others to share the progress of an app with others. But Windows 365 goes further, using other services in the cloud, something that Apple should perhaps look into for macOS in the coming years.

Granted, it’s a shame for some that Visual Studio on a Mac will be no more in 2024. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see a cloud-based version of Visual Studio be made available for Mac again, possibly alongside visionOS and Apple’s other platforms by the time 2025 arrives.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.