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Visual Studio Express Alternatives

Visual Studio Express is described as 'Microsoft Visual Studio Express is a set of integrated development environments 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' and is a IDE in the development category. There are more than 25 alternatives to Visual Studio Express for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux,.NET Framework and BSD. The best alternative is Visual Studio Code, which is free. Other great apps like Visual Studio Express are Atom, VSCodium, Microsoft Visual Studio and Apache NetBeans.

Visual Studio Express alternatives are mainly IDEs but may also be Code Editors or Text Editors. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of Visual Studio Express.
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  • FreeProprietary
  • Windows
  • Microsoft Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio Express is a set of integrated development environments developed by Microsoft as a freeware and...

Learn more about Visual Studio Express

  1. Visual Studio Code is more than just a code editor, it provides the tools and extensions to compile, debug, compare, refactor, and even manage code repositories all within a highly-customised development environment.

  2. Atom is an open-source, Electron based text editor with a massive ecosystem of plugins and themes that are easily accessible through a built-in package manager. Being built with Electron, it uses web technology (HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Node.


    Atom will be discontinued at the end of 2022:

    Intro screen

  3. This repository contains a build file to generate FLOSS release binaries of Microsoft's Visual Studio Code - Open Source ("Code - OSS") project, the open source core of the proprietary Visual Studio Code.

  4. Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft. It is used to develop computer programs for Microsoft Windows, as well as web sites, web applications and web services.

    Visual Studio 2012 Dark Theme UI Designer
  5. Development Environment, Tooling Platform and Application Framework.


    Python plugin for NetBeans (nbPython) has been discontinued since v8.1


  6. Qt Creator is a cross-platform C++, JavaScript and QML integrated development environment which is part of the SDK for the Qt Framework.

  7. MonoDevelop icon


    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • .NET Framework
    • Xamarin Studio

    MonoDevelop enables developers to write desktop and web applications on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It also makes it easy to port .NET applications created with Visual Studio to Linux and Mac OS X maintaining a single code base for all platforms.


    As of October 2021, the GitHub repository README has been updated to say "This project has not been built nor maintained since January 2020 and has been archived".

  8. SharpDevelop icon


    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • .NET Framework

    #develop (short for SharpDevelop) is a free IDE for C#, VB.NET and Boo projects on Microsoft's .NET platform. It is open-source, and you can download both sourcecode and executables.


    Unfortunately SharpDevelop has been discontinued. It is still a viable alternative for VS for versions until 2016, but it doesn't support C# 7.0 as VS 2017 does. See details:

    SharpDevelop on Vista
  9. B4X icon


    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Windows
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad

    Cross platform development tools for native iOS, Android, desktop and server applications.

    IDE screenshot
  10. Code smarter and faster with Komodo IDE, the cross-platform professional development environment for dynamic languages and open technologies.

    UI with dark theme
Showing 10 of 27 alternatives