How the mighty have fallen, eh, Microsoft? In an attempt to adapt to the new prevailing business models, and to accompany the launch of the Visual Studio 2015, it’s just been announced that Visual Studio 2013 can now be downloaded and used completely free. The Community edition, unlike its Express counterpart (which is soon to be withdrawn), offers many of the features of the Professional edition and gives you access to more than 5,000 extensions that enormously expand its possibilities.
With regard to the development environment, it offers all the features common to other IDEs with regards to code detection, code highlighting and autocomplete, as well as debugging features with ‘breakpoints’ even for projects on mobile platforms. It also lets you work in groups, with online project management and version control tools.
With all this, Microsoft aims to eat into the market share of other completely free IDEs, like Eclipse and Android Studio, that have become the development standards for certain platforms. Also, this launch includes Update 4, the most recent update since October 2013 which includes GPU diagnostic tools, improvements to the JSON editor, and support for SQL Server 2014.