Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Activating Visual Studio 2013

I was using Visual Studio 2013 on my system just recently and I happened to come upon this dialog in the IDE:

I clicked on the Trial License link out of curiosity, and I was faced with the following dialog:

I was very confused since I had never seen this with any prior version of Visual Studio I had ever downloaded from MSDN before so I decided to perform a little more research:

Sure enough, I found this blurb on the MSDN site:

The product key is not embedded with Visual Studio 2013. When you launch the product, you can simply sign in with the Microsoft account associated with your MSDN subscription and your IDE will automatically activate. An added benefit of signing in to Visual Studio is that your IDE settings will sync across devices, and you can connect to online developer services. If you’d rather enter a product key, then simply bypass signing in and enter the product key found here by selecting Register Product under the Help menu. 

Therefore, I would need to either sign in with my Windows Live ID to activate my future installations of Visual Studio or else I would have to manually activate my installations of Visual Studio 2013 from now on!

So, when you download your installations of Visual Studio 2013 from MSDN, make sure you also make note of the Static Activation Key otherwise your Visual Studio installation will soon expire!!

You can register your installation of Visual Studio by going into the Help-->Register Product menu and proceeding with entering the product key to activate Visual Studio.

If you instead decide to activate your copy of Visual Studio 2013 with your Windows Live ID, you will eventually end up with the following dialog when you launch Visual Studio 2013:

When I ignored this dialog and tried to open my project in Visual Studio, Visual Studio shut down on me!!

Therefore, you will always have to log in with your Windows Live ID in order to ensure an up-to-date license of Visual Studio 2013.  I am guessing that if you let your MSDN subscription lapse, then your Visual Studio 2013 installation will also consequently expire.

Therefore, the Product Key method of activation may be better overall...

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