Among yesterday’s great product launches by Microsoft, was the FREE unrestricted version of Visual Studio – Visual Studio Community Edition 2013. What I didn’t notice is that “this version lets developers target any platform from desktop and mobile to web and cloud”. Instead of waiting for Visual Studio 2015, we can start creating Android and iOS applications as from today!
“It includes the full richness of the Visual Studio extensions and ecosystem”, thus unlike Visual Studio Express it allows users access to over 5K extensions from the Visual Studio Ecosystem, and is bundled in one package instead of different packages for different types of applications. And Visual Studio tools like Peek, Code Analysis, Graphical Debugging are all included in this package! The only restriction being that you can’t develop Enterprise applications, and is available for teams of not more than 5 people. You can build and develop any commercial and non-commercial applications. The Express editions of Visual Studio are going to be phased out over time.
You can pretty much prototype a full production application for any platform for free, using this free Visual Studio Community 2013 in combination with free tiers of Visual Studio Online and Azure. And to all those people who prefer to use other free tools, now there’s a better IDE for FREE too.