November 2015 Changes to Visual Studio Licensing

There are some changes to Visual Studio licensing for November 2015 – let’s take a look!

Firstly, Microsoft’s Brian Harry confirms that Visual Studio Online is now Visual Studio Team Services. Hurrah! I’ve long wanted this to happen so that this hosted service more closely matches its on-premises cousin’s name – Visual Studio Team Foundation Server.

This page is a useful resource on Visual Studio Team Services pricing ( with the following points of interest:

  • As many stakeholders as you want can be added to a Visual Studio Team Services account free of charge
  • The first 5 additional users that you add are free
  • Any users with active Visual Studio with MSDN subscriptions have free access
  • You can’t buy Visual Studio Team Services subscriptions through an Enterprise Agreement but you’re eligible for special pricing
  • All Visual Studio Team Services subscriptions include a Visual Studio Team Foundation Server CAL

Secondly, Visual Studio Cloud Subscriptions are now available enabling you to buy either monthly or annual subscriptions to Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise. Monthly subscriptions are $45/$250 and the annual ones $539/$2,999, and this page is useful for the details (  It’s also worth knowing the following:

  • The Cloud Subscriptions can only be purchased through the Visual Studio Marketplace rather than through a Volume Licensing agreement
  • The full MSDN benefits are only available if you commit to an annual subscription

Brian Harry’s blog post is here ( with a complete list of what’s new technically for Visual Studio and its friends in November 2015.

Visual Studio Licensing Changes

There are some great changes announced to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Online licensing starting on 1 September 2015.

As you may know, Visual Studio Online is essentially the online version of Team Foundation Server. VS Online is licensed with a User Subscription Model and TFS with a traditional Server/CAL model. The first big change to the licensing is that if you buy any Visual Studio Online subscription you get a TFS CAL for the named user of the subscription, which means that that user can access VS Online or TFS or both VS Online AND TFS.

Then there’s new pricing for the VS Online Basic subscriptions: the overall price has been reduced and volume discounts have been introduced. In practical terms, this means that 45 users using VS Online Basic today costs $800/month but with the new structure will only cost $310/month.

The details for these changes are in another of Microsoft’s Brian Harry’s great blog posts ( where you’ll also find the timing of the changes for all types of customers