Microsoft Visual Studio 2015. Get It Now. For Free.

A few months ago, Microsoft announced a major change in the licencing for its premier software development environment Visual Studio.  Although you still need to pay several hundred dollars if you intend to use it for commercial purposes, the full product is available for free for non-commercial use.  And even for small commercial projects too, in some cases.
So if you want to write programs using the same development environment that pretty much all professional coders use, check out Visual Studio 2015 Community (which is the moniker given to the free version).  You'll find it at but be aware that the full download is considerably larger than the 0.2 MB installer that you initially download.  So take care if you're on a limited or metered internet connection.

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ANY Visual Studio 2015 Product MUST be installed on Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 or higher with update 2919355 to install successfully. (per M$)

unless a workaround is found.

However, Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition (like above, the free edition of Visual Studio 2013) installs on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and the corresponding Server editions.

Contrary to what poster mchldpy says, 'Visual Studio Express 2015 for Windows Desktop' runs on Windows 7 (see: The 'Community' version runs on Windows 8 and higher, as mentioned.

Thanks Geekomatic,
Having to use somebody's downloader/installer always feels slow to me no matter how fast my connection is.

Here's the direct link:

The ISO is 5.8GB, FYI