Visual Studio Subscriptions – everything you need for Azure development

Lan Kaim

Recently, our product team has been talking with Visual Studio subscribers to learn more about how they approach cloud development. Many of the subscribers we spoke with mentioned that they were unaware of the benefits included with a Visual Studio subscription, that are intended to make learning new technologies and prototyping easy.

If you’re interested in cloud development, or simply want to learn more about new development tools, techniques, and frameworks, your subscription includes a wide range of benefits you can use. The level of these benefits you have depends on your subscription type. Check out this benefits video or read on below for an overview.

Cloud services

Subscribers have access to unlimited Azure DevOps accounts and access to features on any Azure DevOps organization to share code, track work, and ship software. You can use Azure Pipelines to run Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery jobs and automate the compilation, testing and deployment of applications, for all languages, platforms and cloud services. You also get access to Azure Boards, which lets you deliver software faster thanks to proven agile tools for planning, tracking and discussing work items across teams.

Your subscription has a $50-$150 monthly Azure credit, which is ideal for experimenting with and learning about Azure services—your own personal sandbox for dev/test. When you activate this benefit, a separate Azure subscription is created with a monthly credit balance that renews each month while you remain an active Visual Studio subscriber. If the credits run out before the end of the month, the Azure services are suspended until more credits are available. No surprises, no cost, no credit card required. If you wonder what you can buy with a $50 credit, check out this blog post for some ideas.

If you’d like to collaborate with your team in the cloud, the Azure Dev/Test offer enables you to quickly get up and running with dev/test environments in the cloud using exclusive pre-configured virtual machines and up to a 50% discount on a range of services. You have the flexibility to create multiple Azure subscriptions based on this offer, enabling you to maintain isolated environments and a separate bill for different projects or teams.

Visual Studio Enterprise subscriptions include Enterprise Mobility + Security to help you secure and manage identities, devices, apps and data.

Developer tools

Subscribers have continued access to the latest versions of Visual Studio IDE on Windows & Mac.

Cloud migration tools such as CAST Highlight by CAST (Enterprise only) and CloudPilot by UnifyCloud were recently added as new benefits to help you get a head start on your app modernization journey and migration to the cloud.

Training and support

Take your skills to the next level with LinkedIn Learning and Pluralsight courses included in your subscriber benefits.

Your subscription also provides access to technical experts, Azure Advisory Chat, and Azure Community to help you solve issues and answer questions. Just submit a technical support ticket, questions via chat, or start community discussions.

You can find all these benefits by logging into the subscriber portal at Contact your admin for access to the portal if you do not have a currently assigned subscription. For more information on how to use your benefits, check out our docs.

We would love to hear your feedback, suggestions, thoughts, and ideas in the comments below.


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  • SuperCocoLoco . 0

    I and none of our companies will ever trust the cloud, and we will trust even less in Microsoft, in view of what has been done with Windows 10 or  adding telemetry in Visual C ++ redistributable, .NET,  .NET Core and a long list of Microsoft products. Microsoft is a not trustworthy company.
    The best secure company is that, that works on local files on desktop. With desktop real programs instead of cloud or mobile (uwp) ugly and limited apps. But Microsoft is completely abandon desktop programming focusing only on cloud or mobile (limited apps like UWP).

    • PandaSharp 0

      LOL I lost the count of how many silly things you said

      • Andrzej 0

        Though IMHO the comment from SuperCocoLoco might be too emotional but it still contains many reasonable points. In fact all technology providers focus on cloud today which is unfortunate for offline-non-telemetred-fully-private-and-independent development (even that some claim it’s stupid to insist to not to use cloud today :D).

  • Jeff Jones 0

    I realize that Azure is Microsoft’s biggest cash cow.  But the constant push towards Azure at the neglect of non-cloud developers and users (and non-cloud features in development tools) can backfire – mostly because of the high price tag.  While the credits for development sound good, in reality I cannot ask users of my software to fork over huge $$$ to do on a cloud what they can do more cost-effectively (in lifecycle cost terms) on their own servers.Microsoft either needs to reduce prices (while still making a good profit) or pull back on the constant Azure drumbeat.There are other issues with the “cloud” in terms of long term viability and risk, but right now the overemphasis by Microsoft on Azure is getting tiring and off-putting.One other solutuion might be to spin off Azure as software that customers canbuy and deploy on their own servers for a reasonable price. That makes Azure more palatable and more affordable, without harm to Microsoft’s revenue stream.Thnak you.

  • Michael Taylor 0

    Msdn subscriptions are simply too cost prohibitive for anyone other than companies to afford. The average hobbyist, open source contributor or single person shop cant afford it. It doesn’t matter what all you get with it if you cannot afford it. The only reason so many people are using visual studio is because of community edition being free. If people had to pay for it they would go elsewhere.

    • David Childs 0

      I’m not sure I agree. While a full MSDN Enterprise subscription may be a little much when taken in one lump payment, an MSDN Professional subscription is very affordable at only $45/mo, or $1199 for the first year/$799 renewal. Unfortunatley the monthly route has fewer benefits. Hopefully Microsoft will bring them into better parity in the future.

  • Karan Harsh Wardhan 0

    Are the credits included in the professional subscription or the enterprise one? because a LOT of features aren’t included in the professional subscription to the point of being useless for freelance azure development

    • Lan KaimMicrosoft employee 0

      Karan, the credits are included in both professional subscription and enterprise subcsription.

  • Schaff, Stephen 0

    Limiting the use of the Azure Credits to dev/test makes them useless to me. 
    I have several hobby ideas that could get me to try Azure.  But knowing I cannot use them when I am done kills much of my  interest. 
    When my director asked about Azure vs AWS I have to say I have never used either.
    Please remove this restriction if you really want us to use these Azure hours. 

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