**Update** You must sign in with a Microsoft account within 30 days of downloading Visual Studio Community. I have gotten comments that otherwise, it will appear to prompt you for a license.
The full power of Visual Studio is now completely free for students, individual developers, or small teams. The power of Visual Studio, in my mind, has never been in doubt, but the cost of Visual Studio has been a factor for me to consider when doing work in the community. While Visual Studio was free for students who’s school was enrolled in Dreamspark, there was no guarantee that every student’s school was enrolled. Additionally, what about potential developers who were no longer students? There was always Visual Studio Express, a free version of Visual Studio, but it came with certain limitations. The key with Visual Studio Community being announced today is that, although it is free like Express, it does not have the limitations that Visual Studio Express had. Let’s take a look at those features!
What's in Visual Studio Community 2013
- Professional-grade editing, code analysis, and debugging support
- Support for open-source workflows (Git)
- Compilers for managed languages, C++ and more
- Cross-platform mobile development for your preferred device and platform, including the web, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone with the free Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova extension
- Take advantage of cloud services with simplified Azure SDK integration, and incorporate modern app analytics and telemetry with Application Insights
- Access to all the Visual Studio 2013 extensions on the Visual Studio Gallery
- Visual Studio Community 2013 includes Update 4, which is a cumulative update of all previous Visual Studio 2013 updates
You now have access to all extensions from the Visual Studio Gallery. Additionally, you get the ability to build completely cross platform web apps using the Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova. I have been working with this extension recently (posts to come soon), and trust me, this is a big deal. The tooling in Visual Studio for this was already impressive and is getting better and better. For details you can check out Dave Voyle’s Blog Posts.
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.