Visual Studio 2017 is here, including licensing confusion

March 1997. Microsoft introduces Visual Studio as the set of tools for software developers. Now, 20 years later, Microsoft launched Visual Studio 2017. Still a very good and practical set of tools for software developers, no doubt about is. But there is some confusion about the licensing and here are the actual facts.

Yes and no subscription through volume license
For starters, you can purchase a license for Visual Studio 2017 as a standalone product. Fact is that most software developer prefer the edition which comes with MSDN (Microsoft Software Developer Network).


Visual Studio 2017 licensing


Microsoft presents Visual Studio Professional Subscription (MSDN). In fact, the Visual Studio 2017 isn’t subscription based, only the MSDN part. Just as it was before with the Visual Studio 2015 and previous editions. The options:

Within the Microsoft Volume License programs you can purchase a license for Visual Studio 2017 with a 24 or 36 month MSDN subscription. In the ’24 month edition’ you will pay for the license and the 2 year Software Assurance and MSDN Subscription. After the first 24 months you can renew your MSDN and Software Assurance for another 24 months, and so on. In that way you will keep all the benefits of MSDN and Software Assurance but you do not have to buy Visual Studio ever again.
The ’36 month edition’ has the spread payment Software Assurance benefit. You will have three equal yearly payments for the license, Software Assurance and the MSDN subscription. At the end of this 3-year period you are the owner of the Visual Studio license. At that point you may renew your MSDN Subscription and Software Assurance for another 36 months (with yearly payments). In that way you will have the right to new editions, all other Software Assurance benefits ánd the MSDN subscription.
A last possibility through volume license is the ‘license rental’ construction with MSDN and yearly payments. The only thing other than the above described ’36-month’ version is that in the end you will not own the license for Visual Studio. So it is some sort of a subscription after all.

Azure Cloud
Another way to consume Visual Studio with full benefits is a cloud base subscription through the Visual Studio Marketplace which is based on Azure. This is a true subscription based model because in that way you will never own the Visual Studio license. Just consume what you need and stop at any given time you want (with monthly subscription).

Might you want to know more about Visual Studio and MSDN subscriptions or order yours today? Please do contact one of our licensing specialists.

Back to overview

Looking for a qualified partner in software licensing?