See the entire conversation

Cost of Android Studio: FREE Cost of XCode: FREE Cost of Visual Studio (Professional): $45 per month or $1199 for the first year and then $799 per year after that. Which one doesn't make any freaking sense at all?
181 replies and sub-replies as of Feb 17 2020

VS Community is free. VS Professional and above are basically the old MSDN subscriptions; there's a lot more than just the IDE there...
Isn't there a limit on commercial usage of VS Community?
If you make a million you can't use community
Or if you're a team doing non-open source. But for individual developers it's ideal.
So an individual or team up to 5 can make up to $1,000,000 in revenue before needing to upgrade. It's very reasonable. The limitations of open source an academic research and classroom apply to enterprises or team members beyond 5.
Yeah. But if you are making less than that, like everyone is, and move from 4 devs to 5, your cost goes from FREE to $6000 per year. That's not at all reasonable.
But if you're building C# code or similar you have the alternate option of using the free compiler and debugger and working in VS Code. Which is a more comparable IDE to XCode or Android Studio...
This or jetbrains Rider is probably a better option if you are trying to reduce costs. The cost of tools is often very small compared to the cost of a devs time as well. Say you are paying a dev $50/hour and refuse to pay $50/month for the tool they need to work faster.
So we can argue this endlessly, obviously. It's hard to be nuanced in a tweet. My point is only that dev tools should be free when they come from the company that made the platform. Yes, you can charge above and beyond that for more stuff.
If they give it away they could put some ads in it!
Still using Android Studio? Try Visual Studio + Xamarin
I'm not sure that's the case, I believe your cost at 6+ is the cost per dev count over 5. You pay for 6,7,8 etc.
Pretty sure Paul is right here; you go from 5 free to 6 all paid. Now, that has its own accounting advantages, because at that point you're well into managing business expenses against tax...
I hate to be that I'm being the someone's wrong on the internet guy. "In non-enterprise organizations, up to five users can use Visual Studio Community" 1-5 community. 6+ pro.
No worries. What I really need is an ass kicking. I can accept this. :)
Well you'd kick my ass in Call of Duty. I'll concede that.
See? We can agree on Twitter. :)
I work at a Uni. Can't use Community.
Visual Studio Code... free?
Yeah, that evens it out.
Well the Apple dev account is $99/year or some such?
Sure. That's $699 less than the re-up fee for VS Professional. Every year.
Oh indeed. Does vs pro give access to the ms store too?
Nobody cares about the store
Not the point I was making.
Doesn't the community edition render this a moot point?
I don't think so. There's no XCode Professional or Enterprise.
But there is an Apple developer account fee, I'd have to get the Excel sheet out to figure out relative costs, but for the majority of outfits the community edition is acceptable. Pro/Enterprise normally come with an MSDN sub anyway
Sure. It's the cost of two months of Visual Studio Professional per year.
It's a fair point, the average professional Microsoft shop is probably on partner pricing or using Microsoft Action Pack that includes all the licenses - but you're right it's an antiquated pricing model, that is part of why MS is doing so well on services revenue 😄
Yes, that's where my head was at. This is old Microsoft pricing. The new Microsoft should give away developer tools, period.
It's true if they're taking a cut from listings in the store a la Apple, but we know how that's panned out... I suspect they'll rethink the pricing structure soonish. Would you draw a line anywhere (Xamarin support?) Or just say it should all be free?
The tools should all be free. If MSFT wants to charge for whatever services, that can make sense. I'm just thinking about this from the perspective of wanting ppl to write apps for your platform, & charging them for the required tools is dumb. XCode is in Mac App Store, for free.
Why? The tools were not free in 1990s and somehow we survived it.
More capabilities keep making their way down to Community Ed, so feels like this is their migration path.
My team does mobile dev and our server runs windows. 5 devs, we pay Apple $99 usd/year no matter how many we have. For visual studio we pay $1200 per dev per year, it’s not at all the same.
Yeah, but Visual Studio Community is free! :)
And if I recall correctly, it is usable for commercial use by teams of up to five. But I still agree, "base" studio is way to expensive, even compared to other good, paid IDEs like the ones from JetBrains
But then Apple cuts %30 of every app sold.
So does everyone else.
Only fraction of windows software is sold over windows store, compared to %100 on Apple iOS side. Of course I would prefer it to be free but I would put use Apple as an example.
Don't think for a second Microsoft won't do the same once they are in that position. Why do you think they keep trying? Removing the ability to "side load" solves so many problems for Microsoft _and_ means they can take a cut of sales! Win, win for them!
Woah, you should definitely be looking into the Microsoft Action Pack...
Nah we have MSDN, we need it for the windows licenses to run on VMs. Which is also a different to windows in that you can run infinite MacOS virtual machines without additional license cost (as long as you do so on Apple hardware)
Who's fault is that? If there is that much demand Apple/Android should have a premium experience.
Community edition is great but if your company has more than 5 developers you’re not allowed to use it, so it kind of stops there
5 devs, or <= 250 PCs, or <= million USD in revenue. I'm the only dev in my company, but we're generating a few millions so I can't just dev on Visual Studio for little automation tools without a license.
I wish VS all version was free, though the reasoning might be VS can be used for literally anything, specially desktop software development where Msft can’t charge during release, whereas Apple and Google have their famous 30% for each paid app / in app purchases
Microsoft does too, if you publish to the their store.
Yes, but most of the “Enterprise” apps are not through stores. But it is high time they should make it free, specially small Xamarin team like us can’t use Xamarin Inspector / Profiler which is pretty much basic tooling for any mobile dev without enterprise licence.
and all toolings are free and some open source when it comes to competitors to Xamarin, native world, flutter and react native. @migueldeicaza
Visual Studio Community is free, does that not count?
Xcode requires buying a Mac... Community is free and is basically the same as Pro...
Visual Studio also requires buying a Mac or a high-end Windows PC VS requires a computer of some sort?
No. I work at a place with more than 250 PCs. I can't use Community.
Visual studio is bad too. Rider from JetBrains is better IMO.
Calling XCode free is a bit of a misnomer, since it only runs on expensive Apple hardware.
That's silly, sorry.
I’m a developer focused primarily on .NET Web and WPF. I started doing mobile application development a few years ago and I felt like the cost of the Mac I had to buy to run XCode was a barrier to entry. I paid it, but for someone with several dev machines already, it stung.
If you're building Mac software you probably own Mac hardware to begin with
Visual Studio Community is free up to five developers and company revenues up to $1 million.
I pay $100 a year to be part of the Apple developer scheme. I also pay Jetbrains $150 a year for what is effectively the full fat Version of Android Studio. I still use VS2019 pro as my weapon of choice,wish they'd include code coverage but otherwise I'm happy to pay the bill.
Visual does the double of the other IDEs. Plus, XCode is pure crap. Community (open source + small teams) is free. Finally, you can get VS with MSDN, with all other benefits
And the difference in quality shows where the money went.
Whatever. Two are free. One is not free. It's 2020, and Microsoft isn't exactly growing its share of developers, especially younger devs.
Yes they are. They've shown the numbers during their events. .NET developer numbers have grown a lot these past years.
Cost of Dev PC, US$ 1,200. Cost of a Dev Mac, US$ 2,400. Capice??
It would be great if you look at the full picture. 5 Developers, 5 Macs, service to host your app, Apple developer fees, etc compared to what you get with MSDN and what you need to run VS on Windows. Pretty damn sure you'll end up with roughly the same for both.
Wow, this response just shows you have an agenda to push, and damn any facts or evidence that disagrees with it. Be better.
Not sure this really matters in today’s world. Name of the game is cloud, and generally, cloud is language agnostic. What’s the upside of building IDEs and programming languages if you can still capture the cloud. And you can’t say that Amazon has a better of either.
It's probably more relevant that kids consider it cooler to make apps for a phone/tablet than they do their parents PC. Community edition is fine for most things, could do with code coverage but that's about it. VS Code can be used for much the same and is very free.
I disagree. Visual Studio may look a little more shinny than Android Studio but it has just as many bugs and issues. Especially when you are working with large C++ code bases. Most people use Community so never see the issues in the Enterprise version.
That's not that fair... I personally do prefer VS, however, I have raised so many bug reports over the years... I've also done iOS dev work and have to say Xcode is quite amazing how easy from start to emulator or physical device it is (Granted, VS did this in 2k3 with CE though)
And while Xcode has its own set of issues it is still good enough for literally all macOS and iOS developers. Yes we complain about it but it is still a good product. Again it is no better nor worse than VS or AS or really any major IDE imho.
In the meantime @intellijidea is one of the most used IDEs and also not free. It's ok to pay for your work tools.
I would argue the difference is JetBrains are a dev tools company. They exist to make those tools. And yet they still give a lot away for free. Microsoft exist not to develop Visual Studio but to get people using Windows, Office and related MS services.
I can't see the revenue from MS dev tools sales being anything more than a rounding error in overall Windows, Office and Azure general costs. I should say I do pay for the full JB tools package as I use CLion every day now as my preferred C++ IDE.
I hear the opposite complain, that Jetbrains does not offer a Community Edition. Microsoft is not one company, but a lot of companies in one. One of those makes dev tools.
But they do? Or do you mean not offering Community Edition's for some of their other tools such as CLion?
I didn't know that Intellij had that. Yes, for the other tools.
Yeah some of their tools are paid only such as CLion and AppCode. Would be great to see Community versions of them but they also need to make money. They don't have all the other revenue streams from an OS, Office suite, Cloud service provider, etc. 😬
Also, once you are past those five devs, volume licensing is way cheaper than retail. We pay about $500 a year for MSDN Prof, and that comes with $50 a month in dev Azure credit.
Yeah, it's like pays for itself.
It honestly sorta does. We are in a WeWork and all our dev code storage and dev infrastructure is 90% covered by MSDN. Back in the day, you had to spend thousands just run a local TFS server.
I'd agree that at scale, you'd need to be an idiot to pay retail.
When I first got into development ~20 years ago I went with open source tools because of Microsoft’s pricing for dev tools. I still believe there wouldn’t have been such massive growth in FOSS dev tools use had MS tools been free.
Exactly. And what are young devs doing now? Not using Microsoft technologies. Except, go figure, VS Code. Which is what again? Right. Free.
I fully agree with you that Microsoft should scrap all the different editions of VS and just give the whole thing out for free. None of this Community with nonsense limitations. Just one version for all. If you don't need the advanced enterprise level features don't install them!
That's where I'm at, yes.
I know you're not a fan of Android Studio but having used it for a few years it isn't really any worse than VS over time. It can *feel* worse when you first use it due to its Java UI but once you settle in and learn its features it grows on you. It has a lot of amazing features.
It's just slow, hard to configure, and slow. It's slow. :)
Ha yeah it is clunky as fuck. But behind that mid-2000s custom Java Swing "thing" they call the UI is some very developer friendly features :) But yes it is so damn slow at times.
Features that really help the developer save time and reduce bugs. Yes its UI is a little clunky but it fails me less than VS does for things like IntelliSense shitting the bed which still happens way too often.
I'm sure part of it is just familiarity. But I really like Visual Studio. There's something about Android Studio that just feels off.
Yeah I totally get it. VS feels familiar as it follows general Windows guidelines and terminology. AS inherited everything from its parent, IntelliJ IDEA, which not only did things their own way but in a Eastern European way which is even stranger :)
Not a programmer, so what is the difference between Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code? Other than price?
VSCode is more a very powerful editor with some IDE features than a full blown IDE. Also it is/was designed as "web first" whereas VS was designed as "Windows applications first". Check out… it can explain it better than I :)
VS Community is fine for most use cases and there are a bunch of ways to get Pro for free. For an established business VS Pro is well worth the cost if you are a c# shop
Imagine how worth it it would be if it were free.
I don't have a problem paying for good software
Community Edition has the exact same features as Professional, apart from 1 or 2 minor ones. But you can only use it if you have less than 250 PCs or 1 million revenue. Also, remember Visual Studio Code is free.
OP conveniently left out the fact that there's a community version if VS which is very much free
Sorry for spamming it, but it is not very much free. At my work we have more than 250 PCs and I am the only one that uses VS. Can't use Community.
I still don't get why one has to pay to develop applications for a given platform. In the embedded world it's common to have to pay for compilers which just makes no sense. You want me to use your device/platform? Give the tools to do so.
Maybe there is economic sense in this? Then again, we will never know as MS will never show numbers
I’m the Apple guy and even I gotta chime in saying Xcode is free *after* you spend a ton on a Mac. Visual Studio also does have the Commubity Edition.
The Mac cost thing is BS. Windows developers spend just as much on their PCs. Everyone needs a device. What I don't like about the Mac bit is that Apple requires a Mac, and you know it's mostly about keeping people in their ecosystem.
The minimum buy in for a new Mac is a $799. I could get a Windows PC that I could do professional dev work on for much less. Might not look as pretty or function as well, but it’s still cheaper. And MS used to be like that too until Satya took over! 😛
I don't think you could, but whatever. Devs will spend $1000 to $1500 on a decent premium PC. It's not like Macs and those PCs are in different market segments.
It depends on your dev shop. I’ve worked in shops where they’ll get you the best of the best and in others where they get used systems because cost is an issue.
All day you can shop a cheaper Windows PC with better specs with the exception of maybe the display quality. Just did this for a nephew between Mac book and windows laptop.
Still weirds me out that I can write C# on my Mac!
💯on the first point
Developers on Apple devices have no interest in the low end Mac Mini or Macbook. They all want the Macbook Pros. They never want a desktop. That's a hefty buy in, given that they have no use for a dedicated GPU, and they have zero upgrade path. Other laptops have options
Paul, you're absolutely right of course. I think it is important to note that there are a lot of people that buy a mac just to get xcode. I don't think it changes your initial argument, but it was worth mentioning IMO.
As a great journalist that you are you have data to support that statement. Can you share that with us, please?
And Microsoft requires a Windows machine if you want to make WPF or Windows forms apps
You don't need a high end device to program.
In the last several years the Professional edition is basically the same as community so they are free like android studio or xcode.
i use windows movie maker
Imagine Microsoft adding a whole bunch of stuff in addition to "just" visual studio for those $1999. Like access to literarily every MS Product and 130€ per month on azure. That'd be neat eh? Oh they actually do!
In other words, which full hosting product, everything you might need to actually publish whatever you are working on, do you get for free again with Xcode?
Soooooo many people in this thread arguing that they should keep spending loads of money! You'd think if there was one thing that could unify people it'd be wanting to spend less 😂🤷🏼‍♂️
Yeah. I knew going in that people would do this. What can you do?
I guess you can lead a horse to water, but sometimes... 🤷🏼‍♂️😬
That money keeps the devs of that software employed. MS is making waves in the FOSS market, but they're still a software company that survives on licensing and now SAAS. Plenty of up and coming devs in the c# space, and there's free alternative environments for it you can use.
Visual studio community edition is free
Cost of macbook to run the free XCode and iPhone to test the app: $4,000?
Complete and utter BS! You could get community edition for free and VS code is free. VS pro and up are a completely different value proposition, and both offer a lot more than just VS.
No comment about xcode. But android studio is intellij idea underneath. Intellij community edition is free. Intellij ultimate isn't free.
There is VS community and VS code all free
Important to note is the FREE Visual Studio Community has still around 100 times more features than both Android Studio and Xcode combined.
Community version is free for that reason. Android Studio is free until you need more feature from Intellij Ultimate version. XCode is free but it can only do about one thing. VS Professional is paid because of the support in enterprise market, not the features.
I use XCode and VS Code on a Mac and VS Community Edition and PyCharm in a Win 10 VM. I pay Apple $99/year and paid $89/1st year for PyCharm. (It’s less after that). XCode is only good for iOS dev in my case and feels crude. VS CE and Code do a lot.
Rider is cheaper
I only look at the version comparison every few years, and I don't know a ton about xcode. Are the incremental features in higher-end editions of Visual Studio present in xcode? For example, time travel debugging?
I previously worked at a company with 250 employees, and about 8 devs. The cost of Visual Studio was surprisingly low in our EA compared to other dev tools.
Cost of xcode requires purchase of Apple product
Seen the size of a full VS download? They're barely covering their bandwidth costs.
You can buy it for a one off fee of $499 as well but it doesn't include the MSDN stuff.
Cost of Dev PC, US$ 1,200. Cost of a Dev Mac, US$ 2,400. Capice??
That’s why smart developers use JetBrains. #not!!
Wasn’t this the point of visual studio code? Genuine question
Visual studio enables enterprises to have a supported product that helps them build various types of server and client apps that their entire business depends on. Xcode and android studio are tools for buildings apps for devices those two companies want to sell
Nice answer. I could not have done better.
Does Visual Studio Community not exist for this person?
Paul was just generalizing he totally knows the SKUs. He’s just asking a question that’s valid, but there’s good reasons for things and I tried to help. 😺
Not to mention @code, which bridges the gap more and more everyday.
Come on Paul, for the first time I really do not agree with you. Developers go to Apple and Android not because of the development tools, but just because they can earn money with apps on mobile devices. And that's where Microsoft has failed...
I know where you are going but you do get what you pay for. Visual Studio is far and way the best developer tool on the market.
VIM and CLIs. Maybe Visual Studio Code if you’re feeling spicy.
What kind of click-bait argument is this? :D VS Community Edition / VS Code: FREE - there, problem solved The other major _professional_ IDEs from JetBeans are also paid.
I have used Visual Studio Community edition on all personal projects FREE. Visual Studio Code FREE
Android studio and xcode are toys compared to visual studio.
But doesnt android studio kinda suck?
That's just 1 in a long line of developer hate by Microsoft recently. See also EF core 3.2 requiring testing every single query to upgrade while half of .net wasn't ready and they eoled .net2.2 which they promised wouldn't b/a issue. Makes you wonder if they want out of consumer.
I might be missing context, but AS and XCode are IDE's w/ a ton of plugins and project types that are service delivered. VSCode does the same. (free) ... Visual Studio community does the same. Most don't need Mem-Dump analysis and other Pro/Ent features.
Compare Visual Studio Product Offerings | Visual Studio
Compare Visual Studio 2019 offerings to find the set of tools & resources that's best for you. Compare Visual Studio, Test Professional, & MSDN Platforms.
Definitely would put money into VS. The IDE speaks for itself. And if the costs are a matter, then go for VSCode, which is the free version and equally good to use and get things done.
I have a Pro licence but haven't seen in it anything that makes me want to shift from the free community version, so it's not always needed. Also @JetBrainsRider is a lot cheaper than that and REALLY good. Rider's main weakness is debugging. But MUCH more efficient for coding
And you omitted the fact that VS Community is free to fit your narrative
Android studio is this weird slow buggy crap everyone has to use
Depricating the load testing tools makes using full VS even less appealing. We've switched to VS Code for a new C#. Net core web api project. It's better than I thought it would be, but still very rough around the edges. Having one environment for the SPA client & server is nice
Cost of the non-corporate Visual Studio? Free. Picking and choosing to get clicks? High in reputation
There is a very functional community edition for free.
Visual Studio Community:
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS that's the way to go. With Cloud vision, Win and on-prem servers are going to the same path as WP gone. The money is on services and fee for life.Increasingly, you become more dependent and subject to prices that impose you without the ability to choose alt
Android store takes a direct cut of your app revenue. So does the Apple store. You can publish a Windows product without giving a cut of your revenue, and only need to pay for this license, at a flat rate (not tied to your revenue), if you're above threshold. All viable options.
Cost of vs code free :) ask me which version I am using ! :)
With Visual Studio you can build anything. Desktop apps, Web apps, Web services, Mobile apps, IoT, Database, ML etc. Android studio can only make Android apps and xCode only Mac and ios apps. You get what you pay for.
VS Community is free and so is VSCode. Compare Apples to Apples. VS Pro and above on the other hand is usually paired with Azure DevOps which starts ar $45 a month and also includes $50 Azure credit to offset the cost. How much is Jira plus other DevOps services again?