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!