Tip: Join Visual Studio Essentials, Get Free Stuff

Posted on December 28, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Dev with 0

Tip: Join Visual Studio Essentials, Get Free Stuff

Here’s a great tip for developers: If you join Microsoft’s free Visual Studio Dev Essentials program, you will receive some lucrative benefits, including a 6-month subscription to Pluralsight, Xamarin mobile training, and more.

Thanks to Michael D. for this tip.

“Get everything you need to build and deploy your app on any platform,” Microsoft explains. “With state-of-the-art tools, the power of the cloud, training, and support, it’s our most comprehensive free developer program ever.”

If you head over to the Visual Studio Essentials web site, you can sign up for this free program, which includes a stunning range of benefits. But you’ll need to act fast: Some of these benefits are available only to those who sign up by the end of the year.

So what are these benefits? Here’s the list.

Developer tools

Microsoft’s free developer tools. Which, granted, are available to anyone, and include Visual Studio Community, Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio Express (various editions) and Team Foundation Server Express.


Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition (3-month subscription)

Parallels Access (3-month subscription)*

Windows Platform VM (60 days, coming soon)

Office Online Apps, which are available generally of course.

Training and support

Pluralsight (6-month subscription, available through December 31, 2015 or while supplies last, with 3-months available thereafter.)

Xamarin University mobile training (Coming soon)

WintellectNOW (3-month subscription)

Microsoft Virtual Academy, which, yes, is generally available to anyone.

HackHands Live Programming Help ($25 credit)

Priority Forum Support

Cloud services

Azure credit ($25/month for 12 months, coming soon)

Visual Studio Team Services account with five users

App Service free tier

PowerBI free tier

HockeyApp free tier

Application Insights free tier

Long story short, if you’re going to even dabble with Microsoft’s free developer tools, it makes sense to sign up for Visual Studio Essentials too.

You can learn more on the Visual Studio Essentials web site.