Microsoft unveils Visual Studio 2015 pricing, version line-up

Microsoft is targeting enterprise developers with changes it is making to its Visual Studio 2015 pricing and version line-up.

Although the company won't be releasing Visual Studio 2015 until some time this summer, officials are going public now with the planned pricing and SKU line-up for Visual Studio 2015.

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As of today, March 31, Microsoft is updating and consolidating its Visual Studio SKUs.

Going forward, there will be three main Visual Studio 2015 versions coming this year, compared to the four currently in market. Microsoft is combining Visual Studio Premium and Visual Studio Ultimate into a new single bundle called Visual Studio Enterprise with Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). The new The Enterprise version will be complemented by Visual Studio Professional with MSDN and the free Visual Studio Community SKUs. (The Visual Studio Community SKU is aimed at individual developers and developers in small shops.)

(Microsoft also will continue to make available Visual Studio Professional, Team Foundation Server, Team Foundation Server Express, Visual Studio Express and MSDN Platforms as a part of the "complete Visual Studio 2015 and MSDN portfolio.")

After focusing on smaller and open-source developers in recent months, Microsoft is now turning its sights on the enterprise developers by introducing the new Enterprise SKU, officials said.

Developers who have active Visual Studio Premium with MSDN or Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN subscriptions will get an automatic upgrade to the new Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN. Visual Studio Premium with MSDN customers also will be able to keep their current pricing through the end of the year and not be required to pay more to move to the new Enterprise SKU.

Microsoft officials said the retail pricing of Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise with MSDN will be 55 percent lower than the price of the comparable Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 SKUs. And for those purchasing through volume licensing, the new Enterprise SKU will cost 43 percent less than the Ultimate one, officials said.

From a retail perspective, Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate with MSDN currently costs $13,300 for a new subscription and $4,250 for a renewal subscription per user per year. And Visual Studio Premium with MSDN currently goes for $6,120 for a new subscription and $2,570 for a renewal (again, per user, per year).

Comparatively, the new combined Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN will cost $6,000 for a new subscription, and $2,570 for a renewal subscription per user per year.

Microsoft is holding the pricing of Visual Studio 2015 Professional with MSDN constant with the current price of the 2013 version at $1,200 for a one year subscription per user, and $800 for a renewal.

Visual Studio 2015, currently in preview, will include Microsoft's "Roslyn" .Net compiler platform , ASP.NET v.Next (codenamed Project K) and support Apache Cordova tooling. With the coming release, the C# and Visual Basic compilers and the integrated development environment are all built on the open-sourced Roslyn "compiler as a service."

Visual Studio 2015 is designed to make it easier for developers to write universal applications for Windows 10.

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