The Free Visual Studio – Community Edition

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Microsoft, after launching their free Office Suite for Mobile is now also offering a free full version of their popular IDE, Visual Studio. Gone are the days of getting visual studio express and now, if you want a free solution, you can go ahead and download their free Visual Studio Community Edition, which basically removes any restrictions unlike the previous Visual Studio Express version.

Programming without visual studio can be a horror to programmers targeting Microsoft platform. Aside from its easy integration with the Windows OS, it also supports a wide array of programming languages, which is useful for anybody, from a beginner to the master coder. If you’re a solo programmer, the visual studio express edition is most likely in your suite, especially for programming learners. While it’s free, it has all the basic tools you’ll need to master a programming language of your taste, create simple programs and apps for your personal use, or even sell it over windows store.

However, with the release of the Visual Studio Community Edition, you can be sure that you have the full power of Visual Studio, everything without restrictions. You can even use it for a small web developer team. Well, if you’re an indie game developer, it means you get more tips out of your sleeve.

“We really want to open up access in a friction-free way to broader set of people,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Developer Division chief Soma Somasegar. “The Community version will let you develop any and all kinds of apps — desktop, web, cloud, devices. Or you can build a .NET app running on Linux. And it’s free,” Somasegar added, which might give this SKU might greater appeal to the open-source community.

Visual Studio Community 2013 will allow anyone access to around 5,000 existing extensions to Visual Studio. It will also grant access to visual studio tools like peek, blend, graphical debugging and more tools, features that are unavailable to the previous free versions. However, this version of Visual Studio is only targeted for individuals and team of up to five people. Enterprise level application development isn’t included.

Microsoft is planning to phase out Visual Studio express, which are aimed towards hobbyists and beginner programmers. They will focus on improving their new free community edition version, which will be a great tool for the open source community. The Express edition will still remain online but as time goes, it will slowly get replaced by the Community Edition.

If you’re an aspiring solo developer, a freelancer or an open-source enthusiast, you might say that this is like a dream come true and it seems that Microsoft is slowly moving into the free software domain, but who knows? There are even rumors that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade to existing Windows 8.1 users. I hope that’s true because I’ll be one of those who will benefit.

Okay now, enjoy coding!

Microsoft Office Mobile is Now Free

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Microsoft Office has become the work tool for most businesses worldwide due to its powerful functionalities and ease of usage. Almost everyone who owns a Windows PC also knows how to use at least one of the Microsoft Office products. That’s why for most of us, without a Microsoft Office on a PC can be really frustrating. We all know about its price tag but no matter how steep the price is, we are all well aware that it’s going to be really useful for our everyday lives, from creating simple documents to doing presentations and school projects, the Office Suite will be there for you. But there’s something missing, you’ve read the title, right?

Just after Microsoft announced their strategic partnership with Dropbox, which will integrate the cloud storage service into Office across all platforms, Microsoft Office for Mobile was announced as a freeware. That means that you do not need to have an Office 360 subscription anymore to open, edit and create Office documents on your mobile phone.

Microsoft Office Mobile is now available free of charge to mobile users. You can easily create, edit and even open cloud documents via mobile. For the first time, no for the second time, you can access and use Microsoft Office for free (Microsoft Office has been available to web browser as a plugin before). But I’m sure that you have a question in your mind that asks “Free?! Are they crazy?” No, they aren’t and no, they will never lose anything with it. Why?

To most of us, this plan of Microsoft to make mobile apps free sounds like a crazy move. However, in Microsoft’s point of view, it’s just a matter of moving their free web apps to mobile. “It’s an extension of the strategy that we’ve got,” explains Microsoft’s head of Office marketing Michael Atalla. “It’s not a total strategic shift, as much of an extension of the existing strategy. We’re taking that same user experience we provide online to the native apps of iOS and Android. We want to make sure that our customers can be productive across all the devices they have.” he added.

Microsoft will still retain most of their earnings because people will surely get hooked with the Office Suite, which might force them to purchase the desktop version. In addition, Dropbox for business and OneDrive for Business users will still require an Office 365 subscription to be able to edit Office Documents stored in them.

“There’s still premium value that we’ll add on top of that,” says Atalla. “There will still be subscription value, most clearly and easily identifiable in the commercial space, but also in the consumer space around advanced authoring, analysis, presentation, and unlimited storage with OneDrive.”

But for home users, this is still a great news and an early Christmas present for us.