Microsoft Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment from Microsoft. It is used to develop computer programs, websites, web apps, web services, and mobile apps.

Visual Studio for Mac has many of the same features as Visual Studio and is optimized for developing cross-platform and mobile apps.

Visual Studio has three feature tiers: Community, Professional, and Enterprise. Microsoft provides a feature comparison matrix detailing the differences between levels.

How to Get Microsoft Visual Studio

The most basic edition, the Community Edition, is available free of charge from Microsoft.

Students and Faculty can download Microsoft Visual Studio Enterprise through Azure for Education for instructional and non-commercial research purposes.

Purchasing a Professional or Enterprise License

  • Purchase requires valid UW worktags and authorization from a budget approver.
  • No Procurement cards or direct sales to individuals are available.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio licenses are available through an annual subscription, with the license period running from June 1 through May 31.
  • UW-IT cannot prorate or refund the cost of the Microsoft Visual Studio license subscription
  • UW-IT will automatically bill for the Microsoft Visual Studio license in the following license cycle.
Order Microsoft Visual Studio

License Details

  • Only UW faculty and staff are eligible to purchase a license.
  • UW Affiliates not paid by the UW are not eligible to purchase this software.
  • This software can be installed and used on your work and home devices.
  • Visual Studio is not licensed for use in production environments.
  • Once purchased, you will be automatically billed for your Visual Studio license annually unless you cancel the renewal before the cancellation deadline. For more information about the cancellation deadline or to submit a cancellation request form, visit:

Additional Information

Microsoft Visual Studio FAQs

  • You can install Visual Studio on any number of devices.

  • Yes

  • No

  • The license is transferrable to another user at your request

A production environment is accessed by an application’s end-users (such as an Internet Website) and used for more than Acceptance Testing of that application or Feedback. Some scenarios that constitute production environments include:

  • Environments that connect to a production database.
  • Environments that support disaster recovery or backup for a production environment.
  • Environments that are used for production at least some of the time, such as a server, are rotated into production during peak periods of activity.

Quick Facts

Available for

  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Staff


PC, Mac


  • Community Edition, Free
  • Professional Edition, $75
  • Enterprise Edition, $435


  • Free for Students
  • Software Development

Documentation and Support