Yesterday Microsoft released a new Visual Studio 2013 edition – Visual Studio Community 2013:
Internally it is Visual Studio Professional 2013 with Update 4 (that normally costs $499) excluding SharePoint, Office, LightSwitch and Cloud Business Applications from the installer, but now is free for non-enterprise organizations. The exact license wording is following:
- “Any individual developer can use Visual Studio Community to create their own free or paid apps.
- 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.” (source)
- “Example 1: A University wants to use Visual Studio Community 2013 for training students enrolled in the “Data structures and Programming” course and for a “Big Data” academic research project that requires building a cross-platform mobile application. Further the University also plans to customize its ERP software and automate processes through its internal LOB applications. Visual Studio Community 2013 use is allowed by academic institutions for classroom learning environment and academic research and hence the University can use the software for its coursework and the research project. However Visual Studio Community 2013 cannot be used for developing and testing its internal LOB applications.
- Example 2: A Fortune 500 firm has outsourced the development of its store-locator mobile application to a small agency. The application is not an open source project. The agency has 5 employees working on the project and would like to use Visual Studio Community 2013. Since the agency is a contractor developing this application for the Fortune 500 firm, and since the application is not an open source project, the agency cannot use Visual Studio Community 2013 for developing and testing the application.
- Example 3: A Fortune 500 ISV is working on a mobile application which is released under the Open Source Institute (OSI)-approved open source software licenses. Employees and contractors developing and testing this application may use Visual Studio Community 2013.”(Visual Studio and MSDN Licensing White Paper)
Microsoft previously offered another free Visual Studio edition – Visual Studio Express, but it did not support third party add-ins and extension. Visual Studio Community 2013 supports all add-ins and extensions that work with Visual Studio Professional 2013 (it even returns Professional as the Edition property of the Visual Studio DTE automation object). “Soma mentioned in today’s Connect event that Visual Studio Community Edition may retire Visual Studio Express Editions in future, but this is not decided yet” OneCode Team. “We’re not currently planning to release an Express edition in the 2015 wave. The community edition will become our first and best free offering for developers creating non-enterprise apps.” Doris Chen.