Visual Studio 2017 has reached the release candidate 2 stage and it is good to see the community version has been retained. I’ve covered the VS 2015 community version in this previous post. Everything from that post remains true in the later version expect who qualifies – open source projects, academic research, training and education remain but only a single professional developer now qualifies, a small team would now have to use the more costly Professional version.
Edit: After I originally wrote this blog post at the end of December MS remove Python from the release candidate without warning. Finally in May it is back and Python appears as a development option next to Node.
The installer for 2017 is different but once installed, the main product retains a similar look and feel. The basic installation does not include the Python tools, not unsurprising given the effort to make VS more modular. Additional support can be added if you go back into the installer; see my comment above and the blog post link for details about what has happened to the Python tools – no longer will a separate download required.
Against upgrading once Microsoft has reinstated Python and it is not longer a release candidate; Python 3.6 is built with VS2015 (as is 3.5) so those compiling modules or embedding Python should stay on the previous version for now. Also if you are already using VS2015 then I’ve not seen anything so would make me want to switch.
It is not an either-or choice as the different versions of Visual Studio will install side-by-side so there is nothing stopping you checking out the latest incarnation like I’ve done.