Microsoft has been slowly but steadily transforming Visual Studio into a cross-platform development tool, and this year’s release continues down that path with support for iOS and even the Apple Watch, alongside Android.
With Xamarin, users can write apps entirely in C# while sharing a single codebase on iOS, Android, Windows, and the Mac. Using Xamarin, however, requires a separate Xamarin licence, and developing software for iOS requires access to a Mac to run the Apple compilers.
To make Visual Studio 2015 more attractive to developers, Microsoft’s case studies detailed how easy it was for companies to deploy apps for both of the most popular platforms — Android and iOS — using a single tool: it saves time, as developers need to write up to 30% less code and can still have native experiences on both platforms.
The fact is, Visual Studio 2015 weighs 23 GB, and the local documentation eats up additional gigabytes. To achieve that, however, you need to pay up to $6,000 as Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN purchased through the Microsoft Store online will cost $5,999 (new) and $2,569 (renewal), compared to Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN prices of $13,299 (new) and $4,249 (renewal).