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Microsoft Streamlines Visual Studio Pricing, Structure

In looking to make life a little easier for developers, Microsoft is streamlining its Visual Studio offerings, and detailing a new pricing structure.
Microsoft 'Project Spartan': Hands-On Demo
Microsoft 'Project Spartan': Hands-On Demo
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This week, Microsoft simultaneously beefed up and streamlined its Visual Studio suite of software, by combining Visual Studio Premium and Visual Studio Ultimate into one single offering called Visual Studio Enterprise with Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN).

In addition to Visual Studio Community and Visual Studio Professional with MSDN, the Enterprise edition with MSDN rounds out the three primary Visual Studio 2015 offerings.

Features previously available online on the top-tier editions are also moving down the chain, such as CodeLens, which helps users find references and changes to code, linked bugs, work items, code reviews, and unit tests.

CodeLens will know be offered in Visual Studio Professional, while the Community edition will receive support for PowerPoint storyboarding.

With the announcements this week, Microsoft is also allowing users who have an active subscription for Visual Studio Premium with MSDN or Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN to get automatic upgrades to Enterprise with MSDN.

Visual Studio Community 2015 will be offered for free, while the professional edition lists for $1,199 ($799 for renewal). Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 lists at $5,999 ($2,569 for renewal), although Microsoft Volume Licensing resellers might offer additional discounts.

Microsoft will continue to offer Visual Studio Professional, Team Foundation Server, Team Foundation Server Express, Visual Studio Express, and MSDN Platforms as a part of the company’s Visual Studio 2015 and MSDN portfolio.

Studio Professional with MSDN includes subscription benefits such as access to core software for development and testing, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio Online Basic, $50 a month in Azure credits, training, and support.

The Enterprise edition lets users build applications at scale with features such as Load Testing, automated and manual testing, and IntelliTest capabilities. It includes $150 a month in Azure credits.

Powered by cloud services, Visual Studio Community 2015, which is offered for free, is targeted at application developers outside the enterprise for platforms such as Android, iOS, and, of course, Microsoft Windows.

The suite of software, tools, and services offers advanced debugging, profiling, and automated and manual testing, as well as development and operations (DevOp) software with automated deployments and continuous monitoring.

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Community also offers free open-source projects, academic research, training, education, and small professional teams.

A promotional offer allows users to upgrade from Professional with MSDN or Test Professional with MSDN to Premium with MSDN for half-off, with a free automatic upgrade to Enterprise with MSDN when the company releases Visual Studio 2015 in May.

Organizations interested in trying a preview version can access Microsoft's pre-release download page and leave feedback.

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