Microsoft has officially deprecated support for Python 3.7 with its latest extension released for Visual Studio Code. Following Python 3.7's end of life in June, Microsoft's move reflects a wider transition within the industry to pivot towards newer versions of the language. However, Python 3.7 is far from obsolete, with statistics suggesting its usage in a significant 17.2% of sites utilizing Python 3.x.
The Forecast for Python 3.7
Despite the changed status, Microsoft has assured its user base that Python 3.7 will continue to function with the Visual Studio extension, even if unofficially. The company warned, nonetheless, that without formal backing, unforeseen issues may arise. “We expect the extension will continue to work unofficially with Python 3.7 for the foreseeable future,” states Microsoft. Following an annual pattern, Python 3.8 is due for end of life in October 2024, leading to an expected end of official support in the first Visual Studio Code extension release for 2025.
Version Update for Visual Studio
Simultaneously, the tech giant has rolled out an upgrade for its debugger extension, rebranded as “Python Debugger”, to comprise a setting whereby users can step through their unique codes. This is without being encumbered by the need for tweaking the launch.json settings for navigating into system or third-party library code. The update package contains other enhancements like the Lint on change configuration for the Pylint extension, along with a setting to modify the reporting scope and the choice to utilize mypy's daemon within the Mypy Type Checker.
Python, despite its perceived obsolescence, still holds sway among languages used by developers. As per the October 2023 TIOBE listing, Python led the pack, followed by C and C++. A similar ranking system by Stack Overflow also positioned the language in the top three, outpacing SQL. Particularly among non-professional developers or those learning to code, Python continues to maintain its foothold. Despite showing signs of phasing out older versions, Microsoft and many developers are far from discarding Python.
In fact, Microsoft is still actively integrating Python into its services. In August, the company announced Python support on its Excel spreadsheet app. Users can input Python code into cells using the new =PY function, eliminating the need for additional software installations.