Microsoft will further simplify its developer tools product lineup when Visual Studio 2015 ships this summer. Now, there will only be three main offerings, and one, Visual Studio Community 2015, will continue to be free for individuals and all non-enterprise developers.
“This is the latest milestone in helping developers prepare for the next wave of Microsoft’s developer toolset,” a Microsoft representative told me. “The Visual Studio 2015 product lineup is designed to simplify the Visual Studio options while ensuring more of its most popular features are available to developers at all levels.”
A handy Microsoft graphic explains how the firm will transition from four main offerings with Visual Studio 2013 to just three with Visual Studio 2015:
Key Visual Studio features will be made available across all of the 2015 products, Microsoft tells me. And some features that used to require higher-end product editions have been brought down-market. For example, CodeLens, previously available only in Visual Studio Ultimate, is now part of Visual Studio Professional and better. And PowerPoint storyboarding will be provided for free to all Visual Studio 2015 users.
The three main products break down like so:
Visual Studio Community 2015. This free version of Visual Studio provides developers with access to a full-featured Visual Studio toolset for non-enterprise and open source development.
Visual Studio Professional with MSDN. This mid-level offering is described as a “comprehensive collection of tools and services that enable individual developers and development teams to be more productive when building professional-grade applications.” The cost is $1199 for new customers or $799 for renewals.
Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise with MSDN. This new offering combines the previously separate Visual Studio Premium and Visual Studio Ultimate versions together into a single product that is “optimized for teams delivering high-scale applications and services.” It includes all the high-value features provided in Visual Studio Ultimate and adds the new innovations that are coming with the 2015 release, Microsoft says. Customers who have an active subscription for Visual Studio Premium with MSDN or Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN will automatically get upgraded to Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN. The cost is $5,999 for new customers or $2,569 for renewals.
While these are the main offerings, Microsoft will continue to provide a number of other Visual Studio 2015 products as well. The Express solutions are moving forward to 2015 for those who prefer to have a free development environment tailored to a particular platform (desktop, web and so on). Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN, MSDN Platforms, Visual Studio Professional 2015 standalone license (for customers interested in a non-subscription, IDE-only option), and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2015 will be offered as well.
Visual Studio 2015 will be finalized later this year. But you can check out the pre-release Visual Studio 2015 Preview now from the Visual Studio web site. The current release is CTP6.
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