Bellevue, Wash., April 1 – Declaring a “bright new day for our friends in Macintosh-Land,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today unveiled Visual Studio 2010 for Mac OS X, expected to be available this summer.

Speaking to a full crowd at the Meydenbauer Center, Ballmer reminded the audience that Microsoft is one of the oldest and most competitive ISVs for Apple’s Macintosh platform. The company’s Excel spreadsheet software first appeared for the Mac in 1985, he bellowed, two full years before Microsoft released a Windows version. “We never stopped loving the Mac,” he shouted, waving an iPhone. “Every day, our Windows 7 dev team is inspired by the great work being done by the visionaries in Cupertino.”

Standing in front of a giant poster of the new Visual Studio for Mac OS X, his voice hoarse with emotion, Ballmer screamed, “Now it’s time to give something back!”

The centerpiece of Visual Studio for Mac OS X is Visual Objective-C, a native implementation of Apple’s preferred object-oriented programming language, which is used on both Mac OS X and the iPhone SDK. According to Ballmer, Visual Objective-C will also appear in Visual Studio 2010 SP1 for Windows. Applications written in the Smalltalk-inspired language will require only a simple recompile to run on both Mac and Windows 7 systems, he said.

Playing to the cheering developers attending the software launch, Ballmer then showed Visual Basic for Mac OS X, another component of the Visual Studio for Mac OS X suite. “You asked for it, you got it!” he shrieked, before being buried by an avalanche of rose petals and hotel room keys tossed by ISVs and industry analysts.

Ballmer said that the Visual Studio for Mac OS X suite (expected to ship by Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, coming to San Francisco June 8–12) is designed to woo developers from Apple’s Xcode. “I know you love your Xcode,” he roared, “but I promise you’ll love your Visual Studio for Mac even more!”

On-stage demonstrations at the event included Macintosh integration with Visual Studio Team System; using Visual Studio with Apple’s iPhone SDK to build a voice-recognition spreadsheet application for iPhone and iPad; and porting BioShock 2 from Windows to Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard.” Ballmer sheepishly apologized for the tool chain’s lack of support for versions of Mac OS X prior to 10.5 “Leopard,” saying, “We’re only human, okay?”

As he was leaving the stage, Ballmer turned back. “Oh, just one more thing,” he cried—and then showed off the company’s full .NET Framework 4.0 for Mac OS X, available for free download from the Microsoft website. “We love you, Apple!” he whooped, bringing the event to a triumphant close.

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