This one falls under the category of “extremely awesome news”, Microsoft just announced Visual Studio Community 2013 and it’s completely free.
You may think to yourself… big deal, there is already Express and it’s free too. Unlike Express however, Visual Studio 2013 Community is actually the complete version of Visual Studio, nothing has been stripped out.
Visual Studio Community 2013 is a new edition that enables you to unleash the full power of Visual Studio to develop cross-platform solutions. Create apps in one unified IDE. Get Visual Studio extensions that incorporate new languages, features, and development tools into this IDE. (These extensions are available from the Visual Studio Gallery.) Find out more details about Visual Studio Community 2013 here.
Download Visual Studio Community 2013.
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
Watch the Visual Studio Community 2013 video to learn all about what you can do with this release:
Several other Visual Studio 2013 products are available for download with Update 4, including the following:
- Visual Studio 2013 Update 4
- Azure SDK for .NET 2.5
- Visual Studio Tools for Unity (VSTU) 2.0 Preview
- Kinect for Windows 2.0 SDK RTW
- Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova CTP3
- TypeScript 1.3
To get more details on these releases, go to the release notes for Visual Studio 2013 Update 4.
So, what's the catch? There's always a catch, right?
Yes, there is a catch, but it’s a pretty generous one. From the Community page:
Q: Who can use Visual Studio Community?
A: 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 > $1MM in annual revenue), no use is permitted beyond the open source, academic research, and classroom learning environment scenarios described above.
Q: How does Visual Studio Community 2013 compare to other Visual Studio editions?
A: Visual Studio Community 2013 includes all the great functionality of Visual Studio Professional 2013, designed and optimized for individual developers, students, open source contributors, and small teams.
So, basically if you are part of a team with 5 or fewer members, and made less than a Million dollars last year… Visual Studio is now completely free.