Is it legal to use Visual Studio Shell commercially? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Greetings,

    I'm using Visual Studio 2010 Shell in developing commercial products (I use it in debugging and report design)

    Is this use legal?

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010 2:17 PM


All replies

  • Hi Ashraf,

    Yes, using the Visual Studio 2010 Shell for a commercial product is permitted.


    Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:57 PM
  • Hi Ashraf,


    If you're looking for a free VS development environment, consider using one of the Visual Studio Express products, such as C# Express or VB Express. Using the Shells as a dev environment, as long as you comply with the license terms, is allowed but you'll find the Express SKUs a much fuller set of tooling.





    Tuesday, November 23, 2010 8:07 PM
  • Hi Gearard,

    Based on your comment in this thread, I believe you answered my question.  I just wanted to make sure.  If there is more information related to this topic, please send me links to verify any legal issues.

    We would like to utilize the VS 2012 ( and future versions ) shell to create "plug-in" tools that will be specifically used as internal apps and provided to customers for field use.  This would not be sold as a commercial product and again only used for internal company usage.

    We don't need all the capabilities VS provides and would like to add/remove what we need.

    So the question is... are we allowed to use this... royalty free and no license fees?

    Thanks for any feedback on this topic.

    • Edited by shaggygi Friday, June 7, 2013 11:16 AM
    Thursday, June 6, 2013 7:18 PM
  • I'm also interested to know if we can use the shell for commercial purpose and wanted to know if it's royalty free and no license fees. It'll be great if you can send me some links you've found.

    Thanks in advance!

    Thursday, September 12, 2013 11:33 AM
  • If you install the official Visual Studio SDK (for 2012, it's here: you will have to accept an EULA titled "MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS - MICROSOFT VISUAL STUDIO 2012 SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT KIT" that details how you can reuse the shell.

    I will quote the main chapter here - I'm not a lawyer so don't take my words for granted; you'll have to read it yourself :-)

    "Developing for the Visual Studio Shell.  In addition to the requirements and restrictions for Distributable Code described above, the following applies to your programs that work in conjunction with the Visual Studio Shell:

    •      Automatic Download Feature.  The Visual Studio Shell includes a feature that will detect whether your customer’s machine contains Microsoft components that are needed for the Visual Studio Shell to run, such as the .NET Framework. Visual Studio Shell will automatically download and install such components over the Internet if they are not present on your customer’s machine. Visual Studio Shell does not notify the user that such components are being installed. You will comply with all applicable laws and notice obligations necessary to inform your customer of this automatic download feature
    •      Visual Studio Shell (Isolated) - Product Information.  You will not alter or hide our Visual Studio sub-branding in the corner of the splash screen of the Visual Studio Shell (Isolated), and you will supply your own primary branding for your programs that work in conjunction with Visual Studio Shell (Isolated) to indicate to your customers that such programs are yours.
    • Limits on Extensions. You will not develop or enable others to develop extensions for Visual Studio that circumvents any technical limitations implemented by Microsoft for integrating with Visual Studio. For example, we have put technical limitations in place in the Visual Studio Shell (Isolated) such that extensions to it may not load certain Microsoft packages (including packages from commercial Visual Studio product software) that may already be installed in the end user’s machine

    Simon Mourier

    Thursday, September 12, 2013 1:33 PM