Microsoft Visual Studio Subscriptions Overview

Blog Post created by peter.verwulgen2 Employee on Mar 30, 2018

Microsoft Visual Studio Subscriptions are the most comprehensive set of resources for you to create, deploy, and manage great applications on your preferred platforms and devices, including Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux.

Visual Studio subscriptions are offered monthly, annually, or on multi-year contracts. You can purchase through a reseller, through the Microsoft Store online, and directly through the Visual Studio Marketplace which is billed through Azure (along with any other Azure services you may be using).
There are options to buy just the Visual Studio IDE, or to also get a comprehensive set of subscriber benefits including cloud services, software for development and testing, extensions, support and training, and much more. Below you can find a short overview of the subscriber benefits.


Developer tools

Get access to the latest versions of Visual Studio: full featured IDE for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, web and cloud app development, and other cross-platform tooling, on PC or Mac.

  • Visual Studio Professional or Visual Studio Enterprise
  • Visual Studio Professional for Mac or Visual Studio Enterprise for Mac
  • Team Foundation Server and TFS CAL


Cloud services

Receive free access to Azure services, plus discounted development and test rates, and exclusive access to a subscriber only image gallery with preconfigured virtual machines. Share code, track work, and ship software – for any language, all in a single package.

  • Azure developer services, with monthly cloud credits
  • Visual Studio Team Services – access to unlimited number of accounts
  • Visual Studio App Center
  • Office 365 Developer Subscription, PowerBI Pro



Access core Microsoft software with simple per-user licensing, enables you to install and use software as much as you need for your development projects.

  • Windows and Windows Server
  • SQL, SharePoint and Exchange
  • Office Professional Plus


Support and training

Take your skills to the next level with world-class technical and professional training on all and the latest trends, technologies, across platforms. Rely on technical experts to help you solve issues and answer questions.

  • LinkedIn Premium (business, tech and creative)
  • Pluralsight (cloud, design, security, mobile and data)
  • Data Camp (data-science and AI)
  • Xamarin University (mobile development)
  • Opsgility training (cloud-focused)
  • Microsoft Professional Technical Support incidents
  • Azure Advisory Chat1
  • Azure Community



When it comes to Visual Studio subscriptions, there are 2 important licensing basics to keep in mind:


Visual Studio Subscriptions have a user based licensing model.

All Visual Studio subscriptions and Visual Studio Professional are licensed on a per-user basis. Each licensed user may install and use the software on any number of devices to design, develop, test, and demonstrate their programs. Visual Studio subscriptions also allow the licensed user to evaluate the software and to simulate customer environments in order to diagnose issues related to your programs. Each additional person who uses the software in this way must also have a license.

Visual Studio Subscriptions are not licensed to run in production environments.

The licensed user can install and use the software on any number of devices. The software can be installed and used on your devices at work, at home, at school, and even on devices at a customer’s office or on dedicated hardware hosted by a 3rd party. Most subscriber software can also be run in Microsoft Azure VMs. However, the software is otherwise not licensed for use in production environments.

You can find all additional info on licensing Visual Studio Subscriptions in the licensing whitepaper.

A basic overview on how to register your Visual Studio Subscriptions in Snow License Manager is available here.