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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 apps, web services and mobile apps. Visual Studio uses Microsoft software development platforms such as Windows API, Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Store and Microsoft Silverlight. It can produce both native code and managed code.

Visual Studio includes a code editor supporting IntelliSense (the code completion component) as well as code refactoring. The integrated debugger works both as a source-level debugger and a machine-level debugger. Other built-in tools include a code profiler, forms designer for building GUI applications, web designer, class designer, and database schema designer. It accepts plug-ins that enhance the functionality at almost every level—including adding support for source control systems (like Subversion) and adding new toolsets like editors and visual designers for domain-specific languages or toolsets for other aspects of the software development lifecycle (like the Team Foundation Server client: Team Explorer).

Visual Studio supports 36 different programming languages and allows the code editor and debugger to support (to varying degrees) nearly any programming language, provided a language-specific service exists. Built-in languages include C,[6] C++ and C++/CLI (via Visual C++), VB.NET (via Visual Basic .NET), C# (via Visual C#), F# (as of Visual Studio 2010[7]) and TypeScript (as of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2). Support for other languages such as Python,[8] Ruby, Node.js, and M among others is available via language services installed separately. It also supports XML/XSLT, HTML/XHTML, JavaScript and CSS. Java (and J#) were supported in the past.

Microsoft provides a free version of Visual Studio called the Community edition that supports plugins and is available at no cost.

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