Visual Studio 2015 Licensing Guide

An updated Licensing Guide is available for Visual Studio 2015, so here’s an overview of the changes to the licensing which are all documented in the guide

Visual Studio Editions

  • Two editions remain unchanged (Visual Studio Professional and Test Professional), and two editions (Premium and Ultimate) are replaced with a single Visual Studio Enterprise edition (page 7)
  • These editions come with an MSDN subscription, although Visual Studio Professional is available without MSDN in some Volume Licensing programs
  • These products are no longer available as Full Packaged Product
  • Customers with active Visual Studio Ultimate/Premium with MSDN subscriptions are automatically converted to Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN (page 31)

MSDN Subscriptions

  • The MSDN Operating Systems subscription is discontinued, and MSDN Platforms remains (page 7)
  • Extra functionality is added into the MSDN Platforms subscription – Lab Management and IntelliTrace (page 15)
  • Active MSDN Operating Systems subscribers can renew into Visual Studio Professional with MSDN (page 31)

Team Foundation Server

  • Team Foundation Server is licensed with the Server/CAL model but there are some tasks that actually require users to be licensed with more than a CAL ie with Visual Studio Enterprise or Test Professional, or with an MSDN Platforms subscription. The list of features that are available with only a CAL is increased and you can find the list on page 25. If you want a bit more detail and explanation, then Microsoft’s Brian Harry’s blog is a great place to go (

Visual Studio Team Explorer

  • Visual Studio Team Explorer is no longer available as a standalone product (page 27) and again, Brian Harry’s blog gives some great background to this decision and also recommends some alternative ways of working

You can download the Visual Studio 2015 Licensing Guide here: