Nov 22, 2019

Facebook backs Visual Studio Code as Microsoft's bets pay off

Visual Studio Code and Facebook

Facebook is teaming up with Microsoft to expand Visual Studio Code and its remote development capabilities.

Visual Studio Code is turning out to be one of the tech world’s most valuable developer platforms, growing to prominence in four short years and now used by more than 50% of developers. That dominant position puts Microsoft far ahead of its competition in preparation for the next wave of engineering trends—like remote development.

What Visual Studio Code managed to achieve—and what other editors failed to do—is turning the code editor into a viral developer platform.

To hook developers, Microsoft released its code editor as open source software with easy-to-use and robust extension APIs. Any developer could create extensions. Many did: the Visual Studio Code marketplace lists 14,000+ extensions, nearly triple that of Sublime Text and slightly less than double that of Atom.

As more developers use Visual Studio Code, big companies like Facebook build even more extensions. More extensions from reputable engineering teams further entrenches Visual Studio Code as the platform with the richest developer toolset.

With so many developers and tech companies invested in the platform, Visual Studio Code holds a dominant spot as big companies adopt emerging, and lucrative, technologies—like remote development. Such tech will likely integrate with Azure and other Microsoft services, bringing Microsoft more paying customers.

Visual Studio Code has long been an experiment by Microsoft to see if powerful open source software could eventually pull developers, especially at big tech companies, into its ecosystem. Facebook’s blessing shows those bets may finally be starting to pay off.

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