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I am an iOS developer just getting started with Windows Phone. At the moment, I have the free product Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone. I see that Microsoft has several higher-end IDEs, and some of them have some very fancy price tags. My question is -- will upgrading get me significant advantages?

One thing I find very annoying is that unlike with Xcode, Visual Studio Express does not let me edit my source code while my app is running. (I don't need fix and continue; but it sure would be nice to be able to make changes while it is running, and have those changes applied the next time I run my app.)

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Edit and Continue is available in at least the Professional edition; I haven't used the free versions for a long time, though, so I don't remember what its limitations are. I've never had trouble editing code while it's running, though you may get a warning if you do it. indicates that Edit and Continue should work for VWD/VC# Express Editions. – JasonTrue Apr 24 '11 at 18:24
It depends if you need those features. This does not sound like anything more then a hobby project. – Ramhound Apr 25 '11 at 12:06
In the free version, it says "Changes are not allowed to code running on the .Net Compact Framework" whenever I try to change anything. It sure would be nice to be able to make changes while it is running, and have them applied the next time I build the app. – William Jockusch Apr 27 '11 at 1:20
up vote 3 down vote accepted

For a full breakdown of the features of each version of Visual Studio 2010, you'll want to see this.

The only major bonus that I know of for moving from Express to any of the other editions is VS add-ins (or TFS integration, which I suspect isn't a talking point for your situation).

When you get to Premium and Ultimate, you get the testing and lab management features respectively - which can be handy, but there's lots of 3rd party stuff that can successfully fill those roles (most of which can be free). There's also the diagramming features, but I don't know of anyone who actually uses them for much.

Specific to your mention of editing source while running, IIRC the debugging features are the same across the editions and I only recall there being specific instances where you can't do that.

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