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I was wondering what the difference is between installing Visual Basic and Visual Studio?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Visual Basic is a component of Visual Studio. Visual Studio normally refers to the entire suite of development applications (Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual C++, etc.).

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Can Visual Basic do anything that Visual Studio can't? –  Brian Dec 16 '10 at 0:41

Visual Studio is the integrated development environment (IDE) used to create programs in Visual Basic or the other 'Visual' named languages. So in that sense, it doesn't quite make sense to compare the IDE to the programming language: Visual Studio is like the text editor, Visual Basic is like the language you are writing in.

However, when you download Visual Basic Express, you are really downloading Visual Studio Express with appropriate components to make Visual Basic programs. It's called Visual Basic Express in the Start menu and the title bar, even though it's really Visual Studio Express underneath. So in that sense, your question may really be "What's the difference between Visual Basic Express (Visual Studio Express) and Visual Studio?"

There are several different editions of Visual Studio, starting with the free Express editions and then continuing with the Professional, Premium, and Ultimate editions that cost money and have additional features. You can look at the Wikipedia article Microsoft Visual Studio for a description of the different editions and a comparison chart. Or you can look at Microsoft's Visual Studio Products page for a comparison chart of the commercial versions. (Express isn't shown in this comparison.)

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What's the difference between Visual Studio Express and Visual Studio? Oh, about $675. –  Dave Becker Dec 28 '11 at 1:05

Visual Basic is a programming language developed by Microsoft.

(Microsoft) Visual Studio is an IDE which supports you with functionalities when developing software (e.g. written in Visual Basic or another programming language that is supported by the IDE)

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This is the exact same answer as the accepted answer nearly a year ago. It serves no prupose, adds no additional information, negative vote for that reason. –  Ramhound Dec 27 '11 at 12:53

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