Long-time Mac developer National Instruments has announced the current version of LabView will be the last one released for macOS.
LabView got its start in the 1980s and “is a graphical programming environment engineers use to develop automated research, validation, and production test systems.” Despite decades supporting macOS, NI says the current version will be the last to support Apple’s OS.
A customer took to the company’s support forums to post a copy of the email they received from NI announcing the decision:
In addition, we are informing you that this will be the final release of LabVIEW on macOS. Starting with releases in 2024, LabVIEW will continue to be available on Windows and Linux OSes. We understand that this change of availability likely impacts your active and future plans. We have the following alternatives available for you to consider.
The VIs from the macOS LabVIEW version will port easily to LabVIEW on Windows and Linux, often without changes. In addition, the LabVIEW for macOS that you purchased includes the right to download and use LabVIEW on Windows and LabVIEW on Linux as well, so you don’t need to buy any additional software to do these migrations.
According to a follow-up post by Eric Reffett, Director of Product Management, the decision to drop macOS support was intentionally made after the migration to Apple’s custom silicon chips, as the company felt this would give Mac users the longest window to migrate or adopt an alternate solution.
NI’s decision to update LabVIEW to run on the M-series processors and latest MacOS was an intentional choice. We believed this would provide the longest transition window available for people using the MacOS version of LabVIEW.
Reffett also emphasized the company’s Linux support as a major factor in the decision:
NI moved all of its Real-Time development to Linux several years ago and many of NI’s largest partners and customers use Linux as their primary OS for test systems. NI’s decision to discontinue support on the MacOS is in-part a reflection of our need to be focused on the primary development OSes in the test systems space, which are Windows and Linux. Due to these conditions, Linux OS is an integrated part of NI’s long-term OS plans, which wasn’t true for the MacOS.
While we are sure that this decision is disappointing for MacOS users, we hope that the combination of supporting the M-series devices and the availability of LabVIEW on Linux will provide a long-enough transition window for most users to make necessary plans for how to move forward.