Visual Studio 2015 is here for students!

John Scott Tynes

Visual Studio Community 2015 is the new version of Microsoft’s flagship coding tool – or as the pro devs say, “integrated development environment.” I’d say it’s a tricked-out street racer for hackers with a lot of horses under the hood.

This new release is incredibly powerful and completely free. With VS2015 you can code websites, apps, and much more and deploy your projects to Windows 10, iOS and Android.

I’m especially excited about this release because it introduces full compatibility with our free Azure student subscription, which gives any student the ability to publish websites and web apps to the cloud at no cost and with no credit card required. If you’ve been experimenting with our Azure offer, you probably know that Visual Studio 2013 wasn’t fully compatible. Well, that’s fixed now and you can really light up the cloud with this new release!

How to Get Visual Studio Community 2015

Want to get started? It all begins right here with this free download:

But don’t stop there! After you’ve installed VSC2015, you also need to grab the Azure SDK for .NET 2.7:

Run that installer and you’ll be all set.

Connecting to your Azure Student Subscription

If you’ve already activated your free Azure student subscription, just sign in to Visual Studio Community 2015 with the same Microsoft Account you use for Azure and you’ll be set.

Sign in here in the upper-right corner of Visual Studio Community 2015:

 And then you’ll find your Azure subscription in the Cloud Explorer, which you can open by going to the menu and clicking View / Other Windows / Cloud Explorer:

And just like that, you’ll see your existing Azure subscription in Cloud Explorer:

What if you don’t have Azure yet?

No problem! All students can get Microsoft Azure for free with no credit card required. You’ll just need to verify your student enrollment status with us at

  1. Go to the Azure page at
  2. Sign in or create your DreamSpark Account
  3. Register for Azure

Ready to Code for the Cloud?

With Visual Studio Community 2015, the Azure SDK 2.7, and the Azure student subscription you are ready to code for the cloud! What are you waiting for? It’s all free, it’s all available, and it’s the future of computing. Have fun!

John Scott Tynes
Microsoft Imagine Program Lead

Comments (9)

  1. David Gešvindr says:

    Please include in this offering also Azure SQL Database – at least very small 50MB DB, otherwise is this offering completely useless for many students who try to learn how to build data driven applications in ASP.NET MVC + EF. Many of my students at the university wanted to use this student subscription and when they found out, that it doesn't include "MS compatible" database they needed to create trial subscription instead. Thank you.

  2. Muhammad Saad Hanif says:

    I can't see the cloud explorer in View>Other Windows in my VS 2015 community.

    Can you suggest any solution to this

  3. You're confused? I'm confused. says:

    Are we supposed to get the Localdb ourselves? The Storage Emulator can't install otherwise. Is it the SqlLocalDB.msi from SQL Server 2014 Express, or 2016?

  4. Anusha says:

    i am not able to download visual studio although i have an verified account.pls let me know, is there any other way to download visual studio 2015.

  5. azmina721 says:

    View>Other Windows>Cloud explorer … i could not find the Cloud Explorer. What should i do???

  6. Martin Konopka says:

    Have you installed Azure SDK? It should add the Cloud Explorer view.

  7. Stanley Pickard, Ph.D. says:

    As a university instructor, can I download a copy of Visual Studio Community 2015 and deliver copies to my students?

    1. Hello, you can administer VS Community 2015 to your students (or university labs) if your institution has a Microsoft Imagine Standard or Premium subscription. Otherwise you can certainly instruct your students to download VS Community directly from the website or ask them to sign-up for their student Microsoft Imagine benefits which include additional software and learning. Both of these options are free to students.

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