Microsoft prepares Visual Studio 2013 for retirement

Tick-tock, developers: End of the road comes on April 9, 2024

Microsoft is warning developers that only months remain before extended support for Visual Studio 2013 is pulled on April 9.

The product has been gathering dust since its last major release, Update 5, which received support starting July 20, 2015. Its successor, Visual Studio 2015, is already in extended support, which is due to end on October 14, 2025. April 9, 2024 is also when Visual Studio 2019 will slip into extended support, leaving Visual Studio 2022 the only edition receiving mainstream support.

After a product enters extended support Microsoft only provides fixes for security issues and, as of April 9, Visual Studio 2013 won't even get those any more.

While lagging behind its Visual Studio Code sibling in popularity, the IDE supports a wide range of environments and languages, which many developers have likely encountered at some point.

Visual Studio 2013 followed the makeover of Visual Studio 2012, which left some developers up in arms, and turned up alongside Windows 8.1, Microsoft's attempt to make amends for Windows 8. In retrospect, the release was notable for simplifying Azure deployments and Visual XAML designer, which we found a bit buggy.

While it took until Visual Studio 2022 for the suite to go fully 64-bit, Visual Studio 2013 also had a debugging feature called Edit and Continue, which was updated to work in 64-bit as well as 32-bit .NET applications.

There are a plethora of Visual Studio 2013 editions – Ultimate, Premium, Professional, Community, Express for Web, Express for Windows, Express for Windows Desktop, Team Explorer, and Test Professional – all of which will be dropping out of extended support. The Visual C++ redistributable, the shell, and the Visual Studio 2013 version of components, such as Team Explorer, will also no longer be supported.

For enterprises and users still clinging to Visual Studio 2013, an upgrade will be required. The process might not be smooth, depending on the project. According to Microsoft, each new version of Visual Studio supports "most" types of projects, but it will be a case of suck it and see. Or, preferably, do some testing to check everything works as expected.

Considering the age of Visual Studio 2013, it's possible that Microsoft may have discontinued support for certain project types, which could further complicate the transition.

Either way, the clock is ticking. ®

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