If you're not familiar with an IDE, let's tell you about it.
An IDE is a compilation of tools that can make mundane programming tasks much easier to perform. There are mainly four components of an IDE; a code editor, debugger, compiler, automation, and other tools.
Unlike the traditional way, where you write your code in a plain text editor and go for processes like compiling or debugging, later on, it gives you the power to do it all under one platform.
Moreover, it also helps make the code more readable by correctly formatting it, using color codes, and auto-completing the syntax for efficiency.
Let's head onto that now.
Unlike Eclipse, which is an open-source application, Visual Studio is being backed by the team of Microsoft. Thus, it comes with its share of limitations that proprietary software has.
And if you're a person of ethics, who uses open-source software over prosperity one, this point clears which one you should go for.
You can choose between the stack of code that's more suitable for you. But talking in general terms, they both have a pretty great stack of supported codes, so choosing either will not make much difference in this area.
Microsoft is biassed when it comes to giving access to different platforms, and thus the visual studio is only limited to Windows-based operating systems.
But if you're someone using a Mac OS or Linux distribution, it makes Eclipse the default choice. The reason is that it's open-source, free to use, and is available for a variety of operating systems.
Since we've already mentioned that Visual Studio is a proprietary entity from Microsoft, it is bound to come at a price. On the other hand, Eclipse is free to use and will always be.
Now, there's a catch, and if you're getting a code editor, then there's a single entity called Visual Studio Code that is free. The only catch is that it's just a code editor and not an IDE.
So, if you're a beginner and don't have that many funds to go for a paid IDE, Eclipse is your best bet.
While Visual Studio is on a paid subscription, it lacks some basic features such as advanced layout features and assembly of windows. It may look like a small detail, but those who use Eclipse know how big of a difference it makes.
These features help you customize the layout according to your workspace and preferences. So, with that said, in terms of ease of use, Eclipse leaps ahead of Visual Studio.
The IDE has extensive support for plugins, enabling them to add new features and third-party support. But Eclipse has a diverse set of plugins under its marketplace compared to Visual Studio. The reason is that it's handled by the open-source community, which makes plugins for and as per their usage when faced with a problem.
The latest version of Microsoft Visual Studio is version 16.11.10, which was released in 2019 and went by the name Dev16. While Eclipse is regularly updated, the newest version was released in March of 2022, going by 2022‑03 R.
Microsoft Visual Studio takes the lead here if we're taking things one step further and talking about enterprise-level development.
But there's a catch: most developers have used Eclipse at least once in their projects due to its accessible nature.
Which gives an unfair advantage to Eclipse over Visual Studio, as the enterprise can go with the open sources option due to familiarity with the environment. It saves the cost and reduces the adaption time that comes tagged in when using a new environment.
We've gone over most of the points that may affect your judgement call when choosing an IDE. Now, the choice falls in your hands, as we've already discussed that choosing an IDE is a personal preference.
To help you with the choice, we can say go with Eclipse if you have budget issues, just started coding, love to customize your working environment, and are a fan of open sources.
But on the other hand, if you're someone who spends money on IDE or going for an enterprise solution for teams that work on Windows, Visual Studio should be the one. Also, Eclipse is more frequently updated in comparison to Visual Studio.