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Microsoft just wrapped up this morning’s lengthy Build 2015 keynote in San Francisco, California, where it mades several announcements. Most of the stage time was devoted to upcoming products like the HoloLens and the new Windows 10 platform, but there was some talk of iOS and Mac in there, which we’ve rounded up for you.

Visual Studio for Mac

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Microsoft today announced the first version of Visual Studio compatible with Mac and Linux, called Visual Studio Code. The new software will allow developers to write code in .NET, JavaScript and a number of other languages in an “incredibly lightweight” environment with features like Git version tracking and IntelliSense support. Microsoft is also issuing a preview release of .NET Core runtime distributions for Mac and Linux.

Previously, these tools were only available on Windows, so the move to open them up is yet another sign of CEO Satya Nadella’s desire to create cross-platform products. The just-released MS Band fitness tracker supports multiple platforms, and as of February Microsoft had more than 100 mobile apps on iOS and Android.

Office add-ons

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Microsoft is beefing up its efforts to turn its Office productivity suite into a full-blown platform, and today it announced that developers will soon be able to create add-ons that run inside Office apps. “We want to move far beyond individual apps and their APIs,” said CEO Satya Nadella.

Office has supported add-ons, in many forms, for several years now, but this is far more advanced and cross-platform. The example Nadella used on stage was a mini-Uber app running inside of Outlook for iOS, which allows you to automatically schedule a ride based on existing calendar appointments.  “You’re no longer going to different applications for different data.”

Porting iOS apps to Windows 10

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In a bid to attract more third-party developers, Microsoft also announced “Project Islandwood” and “Project Astoria” today. This was probably one of the more notable announcements of the keynote, as these new tools will allow iOS and Android developers to easily port their apps to Windows 10.

Astoria will allow Android apps to run unmodified on top of Windows, and Islandwood will enable iOS developers to bring their apps over to Windows without having to do a lot of extra work. The software was demonstrated on stage today with the popular game “Candy Crush Saga,” which developer King says it ported from iOS to Windows 10 with minimal effort.

Only time will tell if these new initiatives translate into greater developer support for the Windows platform, but Microsoft sure managed to make some headlines today. In addition to the aforementioned topics, the company also unveiled its new Edge web browser, new details about HoloLens, and major Cortana improvements.

If you want to learn more, you can watch Microsoft’s Build 2015 Keynote here. Apple’s developer conference is scheduled for June 8-12.

  • Tommy Gumbs

    I have hated Windos for a very long time, but I have to give them credit, there iOS and Mac offering have really been getting better and better. In fact if have completely ditched Pages, etc, for Word, etc on iOS and on my Mac. I have even started using Onenote, and Outlook. I def have to give them probs for steeping up their game.

    • Jackson Grong

      They’re just trying to make more money and not go bankrupt, there is no moral for you

    • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

      Who the hell uses outlook anymore?!

      • Valinor

        you should try it, the new outlook is nice. And will be way better with windows 10.

      • Millions of Windows consumers and enterprises…including I and my workplace.

  • Dante Arellano

    Linux? Poor dinosaur

  • Valinor

    Im falling in love with microsoft while my Apple love is declining.
    If they can deliver, I will be switching……
    Apple watch was a great disappointment, especially pricewise.
    Glad i didnt spend my money on it.
    Hololens come to papa!!!!!!
    (Yeah I know, 2 totally different devices, but I’m a poweruser and like spending my ‘gadget budget’ on gadget devices. And the Watch is not a gadget in my opinion, Its a fashion watch. Thats my ‘fashion budget’ and then I’ll rather save money for an Omega watch for example. Apple hasn’t released a new gadget for a long time now, guess the ipad mini was the last gadget)

    Also windows 10, cortana and Edge browser! Finally seeing a use for a touchscreen on a laptop! My current laptop is getting older so maybe time to upgrade to a touchscreen laptop.
    Or sell it with my ipad air and get a surface pro 4.

    Whats left is phonewise. If they can produce a phone that matches the design an materials of my iphone 6, I will switch instantely. But I dont want that polycarbonate stuff.
    Samsung did it with the s6 and s6 edge.
    Come on microsoft……

    • Tronjheim79

      I wish Apple were the underdog again. For now, they’re obsessed with fashion and trend-setting. Never mind the specs as long as they’re shiny and look good. I wish we could go back to “the computer for the rest of us.” Apple stuff are the still the best out there, but Microsoft is the more interesting company now. With all this said, I can’t wait for the new things on this year’s WWDC besides a stupid watch.

      • Julio Montes

        True, I feel since they’re dominating the smartphone area right now, they don’t really have an incentive to innovate anymore, to me their latest updates have been minor refreshes, nothing too “jaw-dropping” or that makes you say “I NEED to get that”. But again, that’s just my opinion.

  • Rares

    Reason why you should love Microsoft: they listen to the customers and knows what we want.

    • Disasterpiece

      as if they had a choice…

  • Disasterpiece

    In order for them to stay relevant, they couldn’t keep going down the path Ballmer put them in. They had to realize the ground Google and Apple have gained was at their lose and needed a way to turn around. It’s good to see they can compete and innovate… but Necessity is the mother of all invention… and MS was quite thirsty for a piece of the computing pie again