Community Edition of Visual Studio announced, free, allows extensions

VIsual Studio logo

One of the biggest gripes that the development community has had in the past with Visual Studio, is the fact that you needed a paid (premium, pro, ultimate) version to run extensions. Considering the fact that I use UnityVS, Resharper, and Visual Assist X every day, I feel your pain.

Today at Connect(), Microsoft announced the Visual Studio Community Edition , which is free and allows you to run extensions. Any extension that’s compatible with Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 should work with Visual Studio Community 2013. Download the preview for the next versions of Visual Studio 2015 here.

This includes all the capabilities needed for a student, open source contributor, or small team to create compelling applications – powerful productivity features, cross-platform mobile tools for Windows, iOS, and Android, through Cordova tools.

Existing versions of Visual Studio Express (e.g. 2010, 2013) will remain, but we’re not currently planning to release an Express edition in the 2015 wave. While VS Pro and Community share the same features today, the licensing terms determine who can use this product. Community Edition is not for enterprise users (so game devs, you’re good to go!)


Here’s how individual developers can use Visual Studio Community:

  • Any individual developer can use Visual Studio Community, to create their own free or paid apps.


Here’s how Visual Studio Community can be used in organizations:

  • An unlimited number of users within an organization can use Visual Studio Community for the following scenarios: in a classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects.
  • For all other usage scenarios: In non-enterprise organizations up to 5 users can use Visual Studio Community. In enterprise organizations (meaning those with >250 PCs or > $1M in annual revenue) no use is permitted beyond the open source, academic research and classroom learning environment scenarios described above.

Microsoft will now have built-in support for Android and iOS development within Visual Studio

I personally use a Mac Book pro, so that I can hit every platform available. I run Windows 8 so that I can still hit Microsoft platforms, but I also want to see the pros and cons of Android and iOS. That means embracing any device including Windows, iOS and Android and any operating system for the cloud including Windows Server and Linux.


Shaders can now be written in Visual StudioVisual Studio Supports Shaders

Game devs rejoice! We finally have intellisense and syntax highlighting for shader code!




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