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Android Microsoft Open Source Programming

Visual Studio 2015 Supports CLANG and Android (Emulator Included) 192

Billly Gates (198444) writes "What would be unthinkable a decade ago is Visual Studio supporting W3C HTML and CSS and now apps on other platforms. Visual Studio 2015 preview is available for download which includes support for LLVM/Clang, Android development, and even Linux development with Mono using Xamarin. A little more detail is here. A tester also found support for Java, ANT, SQL LITE, and WebSocket4web. We see IE improving in terms of more standards and Visual Studio Online even supports IOS and MacOSX development. Is this a new Microsoft emerging? In any case it is nice to have an alternative to Google tools for Android development."
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Visual Studio 2015 Supports CLANG and Android (Emulator Included)

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  • Download Here (Score:5, Informative)

    by jamesl ( 106902 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @08:48PM (#48394767)

    Visual Studio 2015 Preview Downloads
    http://www.visualstudio.com/en... [visualstudio.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Anyone notice an old strategy revived??

    • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @09:42PM (#48394941) Journal

      Or I am thinking perhaps they realized they lost?

      I submitted the story but I realize back in the 1980's the same was said of IBM. They gave up when they lost to Microsoft. Today they are fairly open about their standards. DB2 is still proprietary but they have opened a lot of stuff and they charge a ton for consulting and enterprise level stuff.

      MS is going the same route is my guess.

      Folks I think Google is who we should fear next. Chrome has a lot of -webkit and -blink specific stuff in CSS not in HTML 5. I am not a pro MS troll at all but use to be an anti MS zealot many moons ago but changed.

      Either way MS makes lots of software some bad but some really good. Visual Studio is a good one. Windows and IE which are the worst are improving. Office is ok with Excel being great and Outlook being crappy. No different than any other large software company.

      • "use to be an anti MS zealot many moons ago but changed."

        I think the real question is WHO changed, us or Microsoft.

        • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @12:05PM (#48396927) Journal

          Both

          I hated MS and created this ANTI MS ID because DOS and Windows were truly horrible in the 1990s. Why use an OS that limits itself with 640k of ram when my 486 has 8 megs and do hacks like memmaker with extended vs expanded ram to make up for deficiencies of an OS that was called quick and dirty 15 freaking years ealier??

          Windows added more fragility to the mix on top of that core. I was scared IE which was great was a ploy to stop innovation once Netscaoe couldn't compete and it would turn into an old crappy proprietary browser.

          I read my posts from 2002 where I threaten to leave computers since DOJ sided with Microsoft!!

          Fastforward today

          I use IE now typing this (hell would have froze if I caught myself reading this post back in 2001). It is standards compliant and I have no fear of a monopoly. MS makes free stuff for starving artists and is progressive with price structure as you make more income.

          MS Windows is really good and I dare say less buggy than Android. Windows 7 is rock solid and just works. Visual studio supports standards.

          I myself am older and pragmatic and realize no one gives a shit about desktop computers or ideals! They want a job done and will I do it and get paid or will they hire someone else? Sadly Linux is part of this unless you run some specific apps on a server. The business need is more important and I like getting paid more than I did back then so it is a win win. Also being in the enterprise and seeing the tears and pain of migrating from XP to Windows 7 (who would have thought people would use a freaking 11 year old OS back in 2001??) I see why MS had to not make Windows great. It's annoying business customers will go elsewhere if they made Windows good as their apps would break. It was them and not MS who held the platform back in those days.

      • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @07:18AM (#48396101) Journal

        Folks I think Google is who we should fear next. Chrome has a lot of -webkit and -blink specific stuff in CSS not in HTML 5. I am not a pro MS troll at all but use to be an anti MS zealot many moons ago but changed.

        MS may be down but they're not out for the count. They somehow managed to get their awful, but heavily patented exFAT filesystem baked into the SDC standard to the extent that some compliant controllers won't even let you format the card as anything else.

        It's appaling behaviour and shows the old microsoft is still up to their old tricks.

        The thing is there was already an ISO standard filesystem supporting modern features supported read and write by every single major operating system (XP and can read but not write without extra drivers) and a host of minor ones at all.

        I format my USB devices UDF now because they work r/w on Windows, Mac and Linux and supports large files and so on.

    • Anyone notice an old strategy revived??

      EEE (embrace-extend-extinguish) only works if
      1. You have a dominant market position
      2. Your customers are stupid
      Microsoft, arguably, still meets the second condition. But for mobile app development, they are not even close to meeting the first. If you go to a mobile app hack-a-thon you will see mostly Macs, and more Linux than Windows. Microsoft is a bit player in this market. They are a follower, not a leader.

    • Anyone notice an old strategy revived??

      You mean the strategy stated internally 20 years ago that never worked? It was specifically stated to target Java, and it didn't work, then people claimed it was being used to target web applications and again, it didn't work. How exactly do you think it would work here?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 15, 2014 @08:54PM (#48394791)

    The only way MS gets more apps in their store is by getting developers to write apps for Windows and Android at the same time.

    • by tom229 ( 1640685 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @10:09PM (#48395045)
      Also, hopefully MS has realized - like Google does - that the future isn't in software licensing. The future is in electronic distribution, and software services that collect information. It's not a great future, but it has been created by a population that is willing to trade their privacy for free stuff. It is what it is. I wouldn't be surprised to see them start to give Windows away in the future.
      • by Eponymous Coward ( 6097 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @11:41PM (#48395329)

        That's not Apple's model and Apple is making lots of money too. There's room for more than one model I think.

        • Apple makes most of its money from iphone and ipad sales. Software sales is a tiny percentage of their revenue.

          • Google makes all of their money selling ads, Microsoft makes their money selling software and services (mostly to businesses), and Apple makes their money selling a hardware/software ecosystem. Apple's cut on software sold in their app store is a multi-billion dollar business all by itself. That's what I was talking about when I said there's room for more than one business model.

            Hardware is not what distinguishes a high-margin iPhone from a low-margin but high end Android or Windows Phone. It's the software

        • by tom229 ( 1640685 )
          I would say it partly is apple's model. Perhaps not in software services, but certainly in electronic distribution of software. The amount of money they make in their "app store" and iTunes has to be monumental. What they lack in data-mining software services they certainly make up for in convincing everyone that their products are "cool", "just work", and are worth spending an extra 30% on.
      • The future is in electronic distribution, and software services that collect information. It's not a great future, but it has been created by a population that is willing to trade their privacy for free stuff.

        A population that is currently willing to make that trade. I think it's only a matter of time before we see a popular backlash against all this pervasive snooping.

        Still, I agree that software licensing is unlikely to continue to yield Microsoft scale money into the future. There's so much good, fr

        • The problem though is going to be corporate customers. The ones with thousands of desktop systems that do pay. Big corps tend to be conservative about IT upgrades, and by giving Windows away MS would be sacrificing that revenue stream. They're probably reluctant to do that.

          Of course, they could just drop the price of the Home Edition (or whatever they're calling it today) to zero and charge for the Pro one. But then they need to make the home edition good enough to be useful, but not so good that busine

  • by terbeaux ( 2579575 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @09:00PM (#48394811)
    It didn't end well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      Making what is basically a fork of a platform isn't exactly the same as targeting a platform they don't control.

      You'd have a point if they forked Android, tacked the Windows Phone UI on it, and added support for THAT in Visual Studio...but thats not what they're doing.

    • It doesn't always end badly either.

      Remember when Apple owned the word processing market? MS go very standards-friendly and very much into cross-platform this and interoperable-that.

      Of course, it only lasted for about as long as it took for Word to dominate the market and then goodbye RTF and "hey guys, how about we make a mockery of the ISO standards process?"

      I think what we're seeing here is MS in defensive mode. They'll embrace open source, open standards open sesame, whatever it takes until they're where

  • by ssufficool ( 1836898 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @09:06PM (#48394833)

    Finally Microsoft was given me a reason to install Windows on all my machines to support their glorious Visual Studio 2015. I will lock all my projects up in Team Foundations installed on Windows Server.

    I use Visual Studio 2012 and TFS currently. I don't know what it is, but it seems to suck all the fun out of programming. Maybe it's just not dangerous enough. The compiler catches most everything and I can't seem to throw segfaults or hide memory leaks. I get my jollies every so often by developing for PHP in C where I am able to churn out leaky crap right along with everyone else.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Agreed. I used to play around with CMake for my C++ projects for a long time, but then I realized how all that was a few mouse clicks away in VS. That includes library definitions, precompiled headers, project dependencies, linker and compiler options, custom build steps, and so on. The project files are in text format if you also want to modify them manually. And when your code does not compile, you just double-click the error and you jump right in that spot in your code. Nice.
      • CMake is a build system (ok, technically a meta build-system) like make i.e. it can build everything given the right rules and configuration. Most IDEs makes it painful beyond belief to build multi-language projects and especially projects where code is generated by custom tools.

        It is not possible to compare CMake with VS, since the usecases are completely different.

        CMake/autotools/make/etc is used when:
        - you care about portability
        - you have multiple languages in your application
        - you have a sufficiently co

    • So your argument is that the IDE is... Too good?

    • by Daltorak ( 122403 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @11:58PM (#48395367)

      Finally Microsoft was given me a reason to install Windows on all my machines to support their glorious Visual Studio 2015. I will lock all my projects up in Team Foundations installed on Windows Server.

      I know this is is meant as a jokey comment, but it's worth noting that VS2015 has native Git support as well so Github etc. works without any plugins. (Even has Gravatar support if you turn it on) And it's not some half-assed in-house implementation, either: VS uses the OSS libgit2 library and MS developers are active contributors to that project.

      • I know this is is meant as a jokey comment, but it's worth noting that VS2015 has native Git support as well so Github etc. works without any plugins.

        VS 2013 (including Community) has Git support out of the box and works just fine with GitHub as well.
        • I know this is is meant as a jokey comment, but it's worth noting that VS2015 has native Git support as well so Github etc. works without any plugins.

          VS 2013 (including Community) has Git support out of the box and works just fine with GitHub as well.

          Ahem. It works. Sorta. It's slow, mildly confusing and it totally screws up if you use subrepositories. Looking forward to VS2015.

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @12:16AM (#48395437) Journal
      Visual Studio + C# is fine as a development environment. Which is to say, it's not crappier than anything else.

      The worrying thing is that Microsoft hasn't changed (they're still a corporation trying to make money, let's be honest), and they'll regain the dominance they once had. If you can't remember why that's a problem, here is a refresher. [joelonsoftware.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by phantomfive ( 622387 )
        Oh yeah, and here is yet another reason why it would be a problem. [joelonsoftware.com] Choice quotes:

        Microsoft thought that if people wrote lots and lots of VBA code, they would be locked in to Microsoft Office. They thought that no matter how hard their competitors tried (in those days, they were Borland, Lotus, and, to a far lesser extent, Claris), they would not be able to emulate the VBA programming environment and the gigantic Excel object model perfectly

        PS: in researching this article, I tried to open some of my notes which were written in an old version of Word for Windows. Word 2007 refused to open them for "security" reasons and pointed me on a wild-goose chase of knowledge base articles describing obscure registry settings I would have to set to open old files. It is extremely frustrating how much you have to run in place just to keep where you were before with Microsoft's products, where every recent release requires hacks, workarounds, and patches just to get to where you were before.

        • 1. It worked - where are Borland, Lotus, Claris (ro Workperfect) now?

          2. It worked - he upgraded so many times you forgot what your old documents were like.

          See, in both cases he handed money to Microsoft, both for Office and again for more Office. It may suck to be him, but Ballmer has been wiping his butt on his dollar bills for some time now.

          Ps. I doubt the gigantic VBA object model was intended to destroy the competition, it sure looks more like bloated incompetence from the part of all the people working

          • Ps. I doubt the gigantic VBA object model was intended to destroy the competition, it sure looks more like bloated incompetence from the part of all the people working on it.

            The author of that article was the guy who designed VBA, so he would know as well as anyone. It is well known that Microsoft strategically used APIs to destroy competition (Dr. Dos, for example).

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        The worrying thing is that Microsoft hasn't changed

        That clearly isn't true. Back when they were really evil it was Gates running things. Balmer was an idiot but less malicious, and now they have some other guy who seems to be making a genuine effort to be less of a dick. It makes sense from a business perspective because many of the companies that are doing well in Microsoft's traditional spaces already do that. Google's Android is now the most popular OS in the world, and it's open source. It's no wonder Microsoft now offers Windows 8.1 for free on small s

        • So, the point is, Microsoft has changed because they are no longer dominant. It's not because they suddenly got nice or friendly.

          The question is, if they regain their dominance, will they go back to their evil ways or not? I don't think you can answer that.
  • by AqD ( 1885732 )

    Are they now offering frameworks on top of Android and iOS?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Doubtful. It's more likely that they just don't like the fact that the Android SDK/NDK is a free download. If people are going to write Android apps, Microsoft wants them to be writing them via Visual Studio, in Windows. Just like they want everything _else_ to be written that way. It's kind of in their best interest.

      Probably the only sign that Sadya Nutella has a fraction of a clue, he's bringing the company back to its "embrace, extend, extinguish" roots. Microsoft has no lost love for Linux and it certai

  • It is all right and great for Microsoft to support all these additional devices. But does it have a "strict compliance" mode where it supports the features exactly to spec, and no "new, exciting and enhanced features" in it.

    In Windows world, they could add non standard features to the software and support it in the OS making a mockery of standard compliance, lock the developers into their platforms, and force the cost of working with/around the "de factor" standard. It would not be as easy to do in Android and Linux, since they are not under Microsoft's control. But since Android and Linux are open source, they might try to pull a fast one and come up with "extended" linux/android, and probably try to pay other vendors to use it. But I don't think it would as easy to kill the standards as it used to be.

    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      Since they don't control Android (open source maybe, but the version that ends up on phones is vetoed by Google and fairly tightly controlled), the most they could do is submit patches to it, that could be accepted or declined. They could also bundle extra libraries...like every other Android app toolkit/framework does.

      Not much evil to do there. This isn't exactly the first time Microsoft includes support for open source stuff (ie: when they started supporting jquery). They go through the same channels anyo

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You can install VS2013 for Windows Phone developement only if you have Windows 8 or above installed on your desktop. It doesn't install on a Windows 7 desktop.

    75% of Windows Desktop users are on Windows 7 desktop. So this means that a programmer whose isn't currently developing for Windows Phone but wants to casually try it out is most probably not going to be able to. OTOH, you can develop for Android on Windows 7 - i.e. anyone can try out Android Programming casually.

    Great work, Microsoft. This is not Bil

  • by Lawrence_Bird ( 67278 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @12:00AM (#48395377) Homepage

    Last I looked neither Eclipse or Intellij Idea were owned by Google. "Android Studio" is for all intents a repacked IDEA

  • .. and MS loses again. MS was left in dust by Netbeans and Eclipse. They do much more, and all for free. Both have strong open source community that shells out useful plugins that extend the many languages that are supported. So finally MS decided to play catch-up game.

    And there are some that still believe Visual Studio is the best. In reality VS is same as IE vs rest: IE is slowest, least compliant, least open, least extensible.

  • by Tony Isaac ( 1301187 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @01:15AM (#48395543) Homepage

    Microsoft is better at creating IDEs than just about anybody else for desktop applications. But when it comes to Web development. It was only the last version or two when they finally stopped creating mismatched HTML tags, and the Web page designer is still so unusable that you have to hand-code HTML / JavaScript for anything non-trivial. Maybe these problems have to do with Microsoft not owning the Web platform.

    I hope they do a better job with Android. I really want them to do better, because I really hate Eclipse and Java!

  • by WinstonWolfIT ( 1550079 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @01:20AM (#48395551)

    I've been working with Xamarin's cross-platform support for some time now, and the shared logic between mobile and mobile web pretty much "just works" after you get used to sticking to Xamarin's toolset when targeting multi-platform. I'm keen to see how this all works built into VS.

    • > sticking to Xamarin's toolset

      Which, unfortunately, is a serious subset of Mono. I found that every program I tried to port used some code that wasn't supported, and most of our code simply does XML file handling.

      Actually, it's difficult to even tell what you have due to MS's totally bizarre naming practices. Why is System.IO.Packaging, which deals with ZIPped XML files, part of WindowsBase? It's practically impossible to go from a namespace to the assembly that contains it. This has always bugged me.

      • It's practically impossible to go from a namespace to the assembly that contains it. This has always bugged me.

        This is often a problem with production C# code as well......since C# doesn't force you to use a particular directory structure (and in some ways VS discourages it). As a result, a lot of production C# code has a structure that's a complete mess.

        Java, on the other hand, imposes structure, which keeps things somewhat more readable.

  • This is just nothing more then Microsoft realizing they are loosing it. They lost supercomputers, they lost mobile markets, now Linux is taking over servers, next battle ground is desktop and Linux is starting to make inroads there also... What choice Microsoft has but try to adapt, if they wish to be in business still in 10 years from now?
    • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

      Linux has always been taking over servers, and {year + 1} is always the year Linux is going to take over the desktop.

      If anything, MS is tightening whatever it was that got loosed.

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