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Microsoft Visual Studio Express is a set of integrated development environments (IDEs) developed by Microsoft as a freeware and registerware function-limited version of the non-free Microsoft Visual Studio. Express editions started with Visual Studio 2005.
Visual Studio Express was supplanted by the Visual Studio Community edition, which is also available for free, but with a different license. Compared to Visual Studio Express, the new license is more friendly to open-source but less for some closed source developers. The community edition works with plugins, a feature that was previously exclusive to the paid editions (Professional and higher). Visual Studio subscription holders (including Dev Essentials) can download Express 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015 editions, and the 2017 Desktop Express version can be downloaded without registering. However, Microsoft's recommended alternative is the current version of Visual Studio Community 2019.