Microsoft has announced a new Free Visual Studio version available for download. Unlike the Visual Studio Express edition, this new free version called the Visual Studio Community 2013, is a full-featured development environment with powerful productivity features, cross-platform mobile development tools for Windows, iOS and Android, and access to thousands of extensions.
The only catch is that the Visual Studio Community 2013 is not available for enterprise application development, however students, open source developers, start-ups , and hobbyists can use it for free. It is a big and bold step taken by Microsoft and would surely allow many independent developers and start-ups to make use of this opportunity.
Difference between Visual Studio Express and Community Editions
- Visual Studio Express Editions do not allow users to use extensions, while with Community Edition you have access to over 5000 plugins from the Visual Studio Gallery
- Visual Studio Express Editions are targeting specific platforms: Express for Web allows you to develop Web apps; Express for Windows allows you to develop Windows apps; Express for Windows Desktop allows you to develop desktop apps. But with Visual Studio Community Edition, you can develop projects targeting cross-platforms.
Can you use Visual Studio Community for paid apps?
- An individual developer can use Visual Studio Community to create both free and paid apps.
- If you are an organization but not an enterprise (defined by annual revenue >250 PCs or > $1MM), upto 5 users in the organization can use Visual Studio Community for both free and paid apps.
- If you are an organization and want to use Visual Studio Community only for classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects then unlimited number of users are allowed.
- For an enterprise (defined by annual revenue >250 PCs or > $1MM), no use is permitted beyond the open source, academic research, and classroom learning environment scenarios
Kindly refer to the official website for more details on Visual Studio Community permitted use.
Free Visual Studio Community 2013
Here is a channel 9 video where Scott Hanselman introduces Visual Studio Community 2013 and demonstrates its features along with fellow Microsoft employees. Read about all the features in Visual Studio Community 2013 release notes
Source: The Visual Studio Blog