It's happening. The apocalypse. Microsoft is releasing an IDE that works on Linux, Mac, and Windows (in that order) and giving it away for free. So we should all be on the lookout for walkers or gyrating tripods or something like that.

But seriously. Much ado has been made on the interwebs about this move from Microsoft, and I think it's a pretty big deal. I've been using Linux at home for years, but the vast majority of my coding experience has been on Windows at work. And I've searched for quite some time for an IDE that parallels Visual Studio that I could use on Linux, but nothing comes close. (Yes, I know about vi. And I know I'm a heretic. Deal with it.)

I was hoping that Code would be it. After all, it has Visual Studio in it's name, is produced by Microsoft (though I don't know if it's the same team that does the standard Visual Studio), and is hosted at

But that's not the case. As soon as I downloaded it and started it up, I realized that Code is NOT simply another version of Visual Studio. It's an entirely different product, and it shines in its own way. It isn't supposed to look and feel like Visual Studio, and it probably isn't supposed to play that role. It's a cross-platform basic IDE, and it is a great one.

There are some familiar keyboard shortcuts (one of the first things I tried was Ctrl+K, Ctrl+C to comment out a block of code and Ctrl+k, Ctrl+U to uncomment it) but there were some shortcuts that weren't there (Ctrl+M, Ctrl+O). It didn't automatically close my HTML tags when I opened them, but it did helpfully suggest the closing tag when I typed the opening angle-bracket.

Overall, Code reminds me of Sublime. Sublime was the front-runner in my IDE search, and I was using it until yesterday. Like Sublime, Code comes with a dark theme by default, has the sidebar on the left (Solution Explorer is usually on the right in Visual Studio), and allows you to search for files easily. But after using Code for a day, I can say that I think it will replace Sublime. It's simple to use, has caused me less trouble than Sublime has thus far, and it's free. Plus it has tight git integration that I haven't tried yet, so what's not to like?

Code is not perfect (of course), but that's mitigated by the fact that we're still on version 0.3.0 and it's in preview. I expect it to improve a lot in the coming months.

If the mood is right, I might put together a proper review after I've used it for some time. For now, I can say that I think I've found myself a good, well-rounded IDE for Linux. At least for what I'm trying to do right now.