Just out of curiosity - what does the number represent? At first I thought it was simply the version/year, because I saw some 10's and some 8's (I have vs 2010 and 2008) but, then why do I have some 9's aswell?

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up vote 55 down vote accepted

The numbers correspond to the internal version numbers of various editions of Visual Studio

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Visual_Studio#History

Visual Studio 6.0 (1998)
Visual Studio .NET (2002) = version 7
Visual Studio .NET 2003 = version 7.1
Visual Studio 2005 = version 8
Visual Studio 2008 = version 9
Visual Studio 2010 = version 10
Visual Studio 2012 = version 11
Visual Studio 2013 = version 12
Visual Studio 2015 = version 14
Visual Studio 2017 = version 15

The number on the icon indicates the version that the project or solution is compatible with.

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    Great, I guess it never occurred to me that the versions were not simply the years, but it makes sense! (This made me think of how Windows 7 is actually windows version 6.1) – xdumaine Sep 29 '10 at 16:51
  • Why did the last one skip 13? – awe Jan 26 '16 at 8:18
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    @awe Because Microsoft is superstitious? – Dheeraj V.S. Jul 14 '16 at 6:51
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    No, because they don't want to risk losing customers that are... – awe Jul 14 '16 at 8:05
  • MS SQL Server 2016 is version 13, so they aren't consistent about the superstition if that's the real reason. Or at least, it's just the VS team that is – Davos Sep 8 '17 at 3:55

It's what version of Visual Studio the solution was created with. 10 is for Visual Studio 2010, 9 is for Visual Studio 2008, 8 was for 2005, and 7 was for 2003. You might seen an 8 sometimes with VS 2008 if you set it to target .Net 2.0 features only, but that usually means you found an older solution file somewhere.

  • +1 for mention of the .NET target for 2008 - That's good to know! – xdumaine Sep 29 '10 at 16:50
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    @roviuser - Note that it doesn't happen by default. In fact, I think it's a bug when it happens. VS2008 solutions that target .Net 2.0 should still use the VS9 format solution file. – Joel Coehoorn Sep 29 '10 at 16:57

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