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Is Visual Studio Community Free for Companies

Visual Studio Community is an extension of Visual Studio. It is a fully-featured, extensible version that works with almost similar functions to Visual Studio Professional. It allows the developer to work on all projects, irrespective of the incoming profit. The community version supports several languages and supports extensions as well. This version of Visual Studio does not put any restrictions on its use by an individual developer. If one is operating on non-proprietary projects, academic research, or learning in the classroom environment, and while functioning on the development and testing of drivers for Windows OS, this tool can have limited usage. Other community edition uses vary on clauses, whether an enterprise uses it or a non-enterprise. To use Microsoft Visual Studio Community, a developer must understand the Microsoft Software License Terms that are applicable.

Licensing terms by Microsoft

But what are license terms? Specifically, License terms act as a contract between Microsoft Corporation and the developer applying to the software, Visual studio community.

Individual License

If an individual developer is working to build their applications to sell them or others, they can use the tool for development and testing purposes. The developer can work on developing commercial software, being shared via any channel.

Organizational License

All the other uses except the ones mentioned above depend on the classification of an organization. The users of an organization can use this software only if they satisfy the following conditions:

  • XX users can use the software to develop and test applications under Open-Source Initiatives.
  • XX users can use the software to develop and test applications for online or offline training or education purposes, including academic research.
  • If one is not classified as an enterprise and does not satisfy the aforementioned conditions, then a maximum of 5 individual users can use the software.
  • If one falls under an enterprise, then the developers will not be allowed to use the software to develop and test apps other than for OSI and education purposes.

(An enterprise is considered one if i) it has 250 or more computers or users ii) has more than 1 million USD in annual revenue.) In the above cases, the developer will have to register their copy using their Microsoft Account.

Purchasing of Visual Studio

Certainly, developers can purchase Visual studio using various channels. For Example, Volume Licensing, Visual Studio Marketplace, and Microsoft store. In addition, it would help if you did a comparative study of Community Vs. Professional Vs. Enterprise to check for all available features of the Visual Studio Versions. Therefore, the community edition use depends on the developer and organization’s employment type based on classification as an enterprise or non-enterprise. One must adhere to the requirements stated by Microsoft for the safe use of the Visual Studio Community. Think before purchasing a license, as the community edition can be free to use in several scenarios. If the installation of the Community edition prompts you to buy a license, then make sure to unlock the IDE by signing in.

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