Today, Microsoft launched the new Visual Studio, Community 2013 edition, which basically replaces the previous offering of Visual Studio Express the company has been offering in the past.
The difference between the new release and the previous edition is huge. The new version is much more extensible, now with access to over 5000 extensions if the Visual Studio ecosystem. It is practically a complete version of Visual Studio, except the fact that it cannot be used in an enterprise setting with more than five people (although it can still be used for any type of commercial/non-commercial project).
Visual Studio is essentially going freemium. Microsoft has built a kit of online tools for Visual Studio Online which they believe people will pay for, instead of the basic program. The Visual Studio IDE has become the gateway for the rest of the ecosystem and Microsoft is also pushing developers to go into that platform.
Executive Vice President of the Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft Scott Guthrie, pointed to the fact that the new launch means anybody can use Visual Studio without having to provide a credit card. “Visual Studio is universally praised, but if you talk to a developer in college or straight out of college, they don’t want to pay” Guthrie jokingly pointed out. “We want to eliminate that friction and enable more developers to use it on a day-to-day-basis.”