Microsoft has announced that it is making access to Visual Studio 2013 free for everyone. Available under the Visual Studio Community 2013 release developers will be able to use the development environment to make apps for Windows, Android, and iOS; although the license prevents it from being used for designing enterprise apps.
Visual Studio Community 2013 can be used by up to five people in a non-enterprise organisation, allowing it to be shared among small groups of developers; although it happens to be free and anyone can simply sign up for a copy at the website. Unlike the stripped down Visual Studio Express (the previous free version of Visual Studio) the new Community version offers a full suite of 5,000 extensions as well as providing a variety of Visual Studio tools, including Peek, Blend, Code Analysis, Graphical Debugging and full C# refactoring.
At the same time, the company announced details of the upcoming Visual Studio 14 – which is now known as Visual Studio 2015. A new .NET compiler platform will be included with the final release, along with Apache Cordova tooling, revised support for C++, and a Visual Studio Android emulator for developers building Android apps. The a preview of Visual Studio Android emulator is being made available and will work with the existing Visual Studio 2015 preview.