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I can be completely wrong but I vaguely remember hearing from a podcast that according to Visual Studio's license, a developer who works with Visual Studio professionally at their work place automatically has the license to use it in their personal life. That means a developer may not have to pay for Visual Studio to legally use/own it.

Again, I can be completely wrong but if I'm right, can someone confirm with a source?

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closed as off-topic by gnat, MichaelT, Dan Pichelman, Bart van Ingen Schenau, TZHX Nov 18 '13 at 11:01

  • This question does not appear to be about software development within the scope defined in the help center.
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You don't automatically get a second license "for home use", but VS licenses are per-user. If you have a VS license to use on your work machine, it is still valid on your home machine, so long as you are the sole user of that software. – Phoshi Nov 14 '13 at 16:10
@Phoshi That looks like the right Answer to me :) – BrianDHall Nov 14 '13 at 16:36
@BrianDHall I think so, but I'm in software, not law, and licensing is really more of a law thing. I wouldn't want to state it with any authority, but I can't read the licensing stuff any other way. – Phoshi Nov 14 '13 at 16:39
I'd be careful about using a VS license provided by your workplace for personal use though, since your employer might (probably) has a clause in your contract that either forbids it or says that anything you create with their property or supplies automatically becomes property of the company. – user1100269 Nov 14 '13 at 16:45
This question appears to be off-topic because it is tour details to be asked about at Microsoft support forums. – gnat Nov 15 '13 at 15:03
up vote 8 down vote accepted

According to this whitepaper, a user with an MSDN license can use the software on any number of computers. Both MSDN and Visual Studio licences operate on a per-user basis.

The whitepaper provides the following example:

A developer with an MSDN subscription uses MSDN software at work during the day, but occasionally needs to develop at home as well, using a different computer. Under the MSDN license, there is no difference between a PC at work and a home PC; the home PC is just another device on which the developer is entitled use the MSDN software.

However, as user1100269 pointed out in the comments, your employer or your contract may state that anything you create with company property automatically becomes property of the company, so you may want to be careful.

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And to make it into a nice legal mess, Microsoft claims that Visual Studio does not become property of your employer, Microsoft merely grants a license to use. – MSalters Nov 15 '13 at 12:16

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