Visual Studio Online or Visual Studio 2013





Today, there are two main SKU of Visual Studio namely Visual Studio Online and Visual Studio 2013 products. This article will discuss which one you should buy or invest if you want to build something using Visual Studio.


we divide the usage of Visual Studio into five tiers which are personal / hobbyist, startup, SMB, and Enterprise. This solution is designed to be simplest as possible to get better understanding of Visual Studio Product.

Personal / Hobbyist

You are student or hobbyist, you can grab the Visual Studio Express is a freebies and have a sufficient features to create a product. This program is royalty free so that you can use and sell your software without hassle. The disadvantage of this product is each platform has different SKU. For example, if we want to build on web and on desktop you should install two products on a same machine. This won’t happen on Visual Studio Professional features.

You can download the Visual Studio Express here

and if you want to store you codes to the cloud you can use Visual Studio Online Basic that has five users free slots.


If you are startup you can also use Visual Studio Express. However, we recommend you buy the Professional Version. Yes, it costs about 300$. But it’s really worth for your startup. The professional features has many fundamental aspects of superb IDE such as

  • One stop coding for any platform
  • Unit Testing framework
  • Code metrics and analysis
  • Agile method
  • Code visualization
  • Professional deployment support

You can buy the Visual Studio with MSDN or without MSDN. MSDN means you have all Microsoft Product for test purpose (not for production to a client). The MSDN will cost $1200 yearly and without MSDN it takes cost 300$. Click the picture below to understand the latest prices.

You can download Visual Studio Professional here

and if you want to store you codes to the cloud you can use Visual Studio Online for professional, it costs 45$ per months and it includes Visual Studio Professional also. So as a startup you can invest on three model Visual Studio Online Professionals (Subscriptions / Month) , Visual Studio Professional, and Visual Studio Professional with MSDN (Subscriptions / Year). 

If you don’t have a fund, don’t worry you can use Visual Studio Express family or Visual Studio Online Basic.


We categorize SMB if you have development team more than 10 people. in this model, you need a streamline software engineering process like a Agile method. In this case you can use Visual Studio Professional, but if you need more engineering approaches such as

  • Test case or testing framework
  • UML diagram
  • Team Room
  • Code Review
  • Architecture Validation
  • Code Cloning
  • Graphics Debugging

You can grab the Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Premium with MSDN ($6200 / year). There is no Visual Studio Online version that has Premium inside so you need to buy Visual Studio separately.

You can download the Visual Studio Premium Version Here


Yes, if you are enterprise that has many IDE on your company and want to integrate all of your IDE, you can buy Visual Studio Online Advanced Subscriptions (60$ / months). It includes a plugin support for many major IDE like Eclipse, Visual Studio, and others. Others option is choosing Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN ($13.299/year). Please notes that even Visual Studio Online Advances doesn’t have Visual Studio included, you should buy Visual Studio separately. Visual Studio Ultimate has several enterprise ready features  such as

  • All Visual Studio Premium features
  • Load testing
  • Adopting FULL Application Lifecycle Management using standard like CMMI, SCRUM, and others
  • Has Intellitrace to understand the debug history
  • Architecture dependency


Education is special SKU, you can grab Visual Studio Ultimate for free if your campus is STEM-D and is enrolled with Dramspark Premium. If your campus is not STEM-D you can get Visual Studio Professional with Dreamspark Standard for free.

Quick Fact

Before I close this article you might notice some facts which are:

  • Visual Studio Professional is only version of visual studio that can be bought without MSDN
  • Visual Studio Express is a free version for Visual Studio
  • The Visual Studio online professional is the one and only visual studio online version SKU that include IDE of Visual Studio Professional
  • The reniew prices of MSDN subscriptions is only 30% of new subscriptions

You can do a quick buy using amazon below

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