Microsoft consolidates enterprise editions of Visual Studio

Visual Studio Premium and Visual Studio Ultimate will be merged into a single Visual Studio Enterprise edition

For the next version of its Visual Studio, Microsoft has consolidated the enterprise versions of the integrated development environment (IDE) software into a single product so it can be more easily managed by large organizations.

"What we've been hearing from our customers is that they want to standardize on one offering across their teams in the enterprise," said Mitra Azizirad, Microsoft general manager for developer tools marketing and sales. "We want to help them have a more seamless integration between development and operations."

Microsoft is expected to release Visual Studio 2015 this year, though has not specified a date as of yet. Users can download a preview version.

Starting with the 2015 release, Visual Studio will be available in three versions: Community, Professional, and Enterprise.

The new Visual Studio Enterprise merges the two current versions of Visual Studio that target large scale enterprise deployment, Visual Studio Premium and Visual Studio Ultimate.

The new Enterprise edition is also less expensive than either the current Premium or Ultimate editions for first time buyers. For new customers, the new Enterprise edition will cost US$5,999, whereas the Ultimate edition now costs $13,299 and the Premium edition costs $6,119.

After the initial purchase, Visual Studio Enterprise will cost $2,569 a year to renew, which is the current cost of renewing the Premium edition. Renewing the Ultimate edition currently costs $4,249 per year though current license holders will be moved to the less expensive Enterprise license. Enterprises can further cut licensing costs through bulk purchases.

Visual Studio Professional 2015 will cost $1,199 to purchase new, and $799 to renew, which is the same price as the 2013 edition. Visual Studio Community edition will continue to be available at no cost for non-enterprise development.

Both the Premium and Ultimate editions had more advanced code editing features than Professional edition, and the Ultimate edition had more testing and debugging tools than the Premium edition.

The new Enterprise edition has the advanced features now found in both the Premium and Ultimate edition, Azizirad said, including the Intellitrace advanced debugging capability and CodeLens, which proves a history of who worked on each section of code.

Those with either a Visual Studio Premium or Visual Studio Ultimate license will automatically be migrated to Visual Studio Enterprise. The new enterprise edition comes with a subscription to MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network), a collection of resources for developers and software testers. Visual Studio Professional also comes with a MSDN subscription.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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