Visual Studio - Download vs Purchase


  • Hi,

    I tried to get the answer through some research, at the outset it is understood that there are some plugins that are not supported in free-download version as against purchased one.

    Can you please let me know what exactly is the difference between a downloaded and purchased version?  What are the limitations of a downloaded version?

    thank you

    Thursday, May 19, 2016 4:08 PM


  • Hi,

    there is no difference between dowload / purchase. There are different Visual Studio Editions. All can be downloaded (e.g. test versions to test the functionality before you buy that edition).

    And the different editions can be divided into "free" editions and editions that you have to buy.

    Possibly free editions are the Visual Studio Express and Visual Studio Community. But you must be careful and read the license agreement to make sure that you are allowed to use the edition for free!

    The commercial editions are Professional, Enterprise and Test Professional. 

    One important difference is the license. With Enterprise and Community you must check, that your use is covered by the license.

    The Express Edition is the smallest edition available. But as far as i know, it has the license that allows most use (e.g. commercial use in an enterprise - but you have to check the license - I didn't check it so I might be wrong!). It is really limited so it does not offer plugins and the license forbids any workarounds to use / build any kind of plugin.

    The other editions can be compared here:

    With kind regards,


    Thursday, May 19, 2016 4:42 PM