Visual Studio Community is free for individual developers, open source projects, academic research, education, and small professional teams.
A free, fully-featured, and extensible IDE for creating modern applications for Windows, Android, and iOS, as well as web applications and cloud services.
Mobile App Support - iOS, Android, Windows using Apache Cordova, Xamarin
Frameworks - AngularJS, JQuery, Bootstrap, Django, Backbone.js
Tools - NuGet, Grunt, Gulp, Bower, npm, GitHub
Platforms - Apache Cordova, Azure, Office, Sharepoint, Hololens, Kinect, Internet of Things, …
Universal Windows Platform Development - Mobile, Desktop, HoloLens, Surface Hub, Xbox
Visual Studio Express editions provide free tools to develop applications for a specific platform, such as
Windows Universal Platform applications, web sites, and Windows desktop applications.
Visual Studio Express products are available at no charge and may be used for commercial, production usage subject to the license terms provided with each product. For example, you can use Express for Windows to create apps that you can then submit for sale in the Windows Store.
- Express for Desktop - Supports the creation of desktop applications for Windows.
C#, VB, C++, WPF, Windows Forms, Win32 (and Python?).
- Express for Web - Create standards-based, responsive websites, web APIs, or real-time online experiences using ASP.NET.
- Express for Windows - Provides the core tools for building compelling, innovative apps for Universal Windows Platform. Windows 10 is required.
Includes tools for Windows Phone development, a device simulator that you can use to test Windows Store apps on multiple kinds of devices, and Windows Phone emulators that you can use to test how your Windows Phone apps will run on different devices.
- Team Foundation Server 2018 Express - Free source-code-control, project-management, and team-collaboration platform.
NOTE: Visual Studio Community has all the features of Express and more, and is still free for individual developers, open source projects, academic research, education, and small professional teams.
Customizable web installers
are available for various versions of Visual Studio.
You can chose to configure the web installation to only install the tools you want, which makes the install lighter and faster. If you chose to do a full installation though, Visual Studio Community is a pretty big product and will take over 30GB of disk space after installation and it installs a lot of third party software including the Android SDK, the Java Developer Kit, and the Windows and Android emulators. The progress indicator during installation of the third-party software doesn’t advance, but the software is usually being installed — that’s a bug we’re going to fix. On a slow connection in particular, download can take a very long time or even time out. If setup doesn’t complete successfully, try the ISO image.
can be downloaded by opening the Visual Studio downloads navigation panel on the left and selecting ISO in the pane on the right for the following versions:
Visual Studio 2015:
- Test Professional
Visual Studio 2013:
- Test Professional
- Express for Desktop
- Express for Web
- Express for Windows
Team Foundation Server 2015, 2013
The installation experience for Visual Studio 2015 enables you to include or exclude components that you would use on a daily basis. This can result in a smaller and faster installation for a Typical installation. It also means that in previous versions, many components that were installed by default now are considered Custom components that you must explicitly select in this version. Custom components include Visual C++, Visual F#, SQL Server Data Tools, Cross-platform mobile tools and SDKs, and 3rd party SDKs and extensions [Python]. You can install any of the custom components at a later time if you don't select them during initial setup.
NOTE: A custom installation automatically includes the components that are in a default installation.
Coding, Debugging, App Dev, Web Dev, Languages, Ecosystem
Dev Essentials, Team Services, Code
Comparison of Express vs. Community versions of Visual Studio. (Nov 12, 2014)
C++ Editions Comparison
Compare Visual C++ Tools and Templates in different Visual Studio editions for 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008 and 2005.
The following runtime components enable stand-alone C++ .exe files to run without Visual Studio 2015 being installed:
Free GNU open source Windows C++ compiler with IDE. By BloodshedSoftware.
Xcode Developer Tools for MAC
"The powerful open-source LLVM compiler for C, C++, and Objective-C is built into Xcode and available from Terminal. With it, your code compiles quickly, and is optimized by Apple to produce blazing-fast apps specifically tuned for the CPUs in iPhone, iPad, and Mac."
Xcode 6 includes support for Swift, Apple's new programming language.
Parallels Desktop for MAC
Desktop virtualization software which allows one to run Windows on a MAC. "With Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can seamlessly run both Windows and Mac OS X Lion applications side-by-side with speed, control and confidence."
VMware Fusion for MAC
Desktop virtualization software which allows one to run Windows on a MAC. "Run the most demanding Mac and Windows applications side-by-side at maximum speeds without rebooting."
.ipch and .sdf files
This webpage explains how to deal with the large .ipch and .sdf files created by Visual Studio 2010 intellisense. It provides steps for permanently moving these files out of a project's solution folder and into a common folder somewhere else on your system.
All of Amazon's textbooks on computer technology topics collected together in one location: programming languages, operating systems, networking, robotics, etc.
"Plug into the World's Largest Community of Competitive Software Developers."
Windows Programming Tutorials
"...tutorials cover various Windows programming topics, but most concentrate on the user-interface aspect of programming. All tutorials and source downloads are in the C programming language. No external libraries such as MFC are required to build the source code presented in these tutorials."