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Bring back the unrestricted Visual Studio Express Editions

The recently announced Visual Studio Community Edition brings with it stronger restrictions relative to who has access to the basic Microsoft compiler tool chain. It has also been announced that there is no plan to release an Express Edition in the 2015 wave.

As a long-time supporter of the Express Editions and of the huge amount of free-software that was created using these tools in the last 10 years, I am concerned that this will have a direct negative impact in the future of this developer community.

As of now, this decision has effectively introduced a barrier to entry for using Microsoft tools and created worry among existing developers who are already using VS Express. The recent expansion in Microsoft developer community and in the use of Visual Studio itself was sustained a great deal by the Express Editions and its truly unrestricted terms of use which greatly facilitated the development of innovative and experimental software. Now, these same users find themselves asking legal questions and having to worry about license terms instead of thinking about developing great software.

Please consider bringing back the unrestricted Express Editions. Even with their limitations, having access to a truly unrestricted compiler chain is the heart and soul of any open-source developer community and VS/.NET is no exception.

Official clarification about these restrictions can be found in the following Q&A (note the community reaction in the comments):


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Gonçalo Lopes shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

Visual Studio Community is free for individual developers, open source projects, academic research, training, education, and small professional teams.

Any individual developer can use Visual Studio Community to create their own free or paid apps.

An unlimited number of users within an organization can use Visual Studio Community for the following scenarios: in a classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects.
For all other usage scenarios:
In non-enterprise organizations, up to five users can use Visual Studio Community. In enterprise organizations (meaning those with >250 PCs or >$1 Million US Dollars in annual revenue), no use is permitted beyond the open source, academic research, and classroom learning environment scenarios described above.

For more information, see https://www.visualstudio.com/products/visual-studio-community-vs


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