Visual Studio Code, Microsoft's open source, cross-platform development environment powered by Node.js and the Blink layout engine has been upgraded to a full 1.0 release after approximately a year of open beta testing.
The runup to 1.0 has been about enhancing Code's performance and making it into "a great editor for every developer," including those using non-Western languages -- nine languages total are currently supported -- and those with visual impairments.
Much of the other work has been dedicated to producing a stable API for the application, so third-party language support going forward will be easier to maintain. Around 1,000 extensions are available for Code, providing themes, support for different languages, and enhancements for libraries in those languages.
A large part of Visual Studio Code's appeal is that it presents a lightweight, unobtrusive environment, where a developer installs only the items needed for a given job. It's in sharp contrast to the product's namesake, Visual Studio, which comes with most everything a developer might need, but is sprawling, complex, and not open source.
The contrasts between the two products are playing out like long-term experiments to see which approach will hold up best over time. Visual Studio is emblematic of Microsoft's old school and is designed to serve Microsoft users first -- though Microsoft has been working to heighten its appeal to newer generations of developers by slimming it down and even offering a functional for-free version. Visual Studio Code is powered as much by open source contributors as it is Microsoft, and it was built for the cross-platform, cross-environment development that Microsoft has admitted it must be part of.