Microsoft is hosting a 2 day developer conference called Connect() 2015, both live in New York and online via Channel 9. As part of the conference, Microsoft has made a number of announcements as part of a commitment to provide "the best experience for any developer on any device or platform". Included in the announcements are the introduction of Visual Studio Dev Essentials, a new free version of Visual Studio:
The program provides easy access to popular Microsoft developer services, tools and resources as well as several new benefits to help developers get started building apps. Visual Studio Dev Essentials benefits will include access to Visual Studio Community, Visual Studio Code and new Visual Studio Team Services; priority forums support; Parallels Desktop for Mac; training from Pluralsight, Wintellect and Xamarin; a $25 monthly Azure credit coming early next calendar year; and more. Details are available at http://www.visualstudio.com
In addition, Microsoft also introduced monthly cloud subscriptions to Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise, available through a new Visual Studio Marketplace. The company also moved Visual Studio Code, the free online cross platform version of VS, into full beta status, and moved Visual Studio Code a full open source project on GitHub, live onstage at Connect(). Joining VS Code in the cross platform open source space is the announcement that ASP.Net5, and the .Net Core 5 are now fully cross platform, running on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Microsoft also extended team services and DevOps solutions for Visual Studio.
Microsoft and especially its developer tools have come a long way since the old days of "embrace, extend, and extinguish", and like its transformation from being the worst to the best in terms of security, the company is moving Visual Studio, once a proprietary closed system for Microsoft services and languages, to become a valuable tool no matter what languages or platform you're developing in or for.