When comparing Visual Studio vs GitKraken, the Slant community recommends GitKraken for most people. In the question“What are the best Git clients for Windows?” GitKraken is ranked 2nd while Visual Studio is ranked 16th. The most important reason people chose GitKraken is:
It's modern and beautiful, it looks clean and refined. It's simple: the most used features (pull, push, branch, stash, commit) are accessible in one click, and are the only buttons. The other features aren't in complicated menus nor in hundreds of buttons, but rather displayed when you right-click on something. It gives more space to the commits, i.e. the most important things. In fact, you can collapse or reduce the other menus/windows. It displays the current path (project, branch) on an horizontal (clickable) bar at the top. It's just a matter of taste but I prefer this to the traditional "tree" view. It has undo and redo buttons on the main window. It supports some drag-and-drop gestures (for example: drag-and-droping the local branch to the remote one pushes it).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Official IDE developed by Microsoft
If a project type or a platform is available for C#, it's available in Visual Studio. Some IDEs and code editors may cover some project types, but Microsoft always starts with VS. If you work with a cross-platform technology like ASP.NET MVC, it matters less. If you work with Windows-only technologies like UWP or WPF, you have no choice really.
Pro Free Community edition
Community edition is almost Pro edition, with just a few exceptions. Unlike old Express editions, it supports plugins.
Pro Excellent and broad range of plugins
The plugin development ecosystem is very mature and covers a lot of use cases. For example, it is often easy to find a plugin which allows you to have the keybindings of your preferred editor.
Pro Supported by ReSharper and other plugins
Code productivity tools improve code editing experience greatly, provide static code analysis, refactorings, navigation etc. They are considered by many developers as essential.
Pro Supports every kind of .NET development, every project type
Pro Cloud storage
Your Visual Studio Online account gives you a place to store your code, backlog, and other project data with no servers to deploy, configure, or manage.
Pro Product backlog
In agile development teams one really needs features such as product backlogs where you can assign features to team mates and track their progress on them. VS provides a web based interface for you to track your team's complete progress on the project.
Pro Beautiful user interface
It's modern and beautiful, it looks clean and refined.
It's simple: the most used features (pull, push, branch, stash, commit) are accessible in one click, and are the only buttons. The other features aren't in complicated menus nor in hundreds of buttons, but rather displayed when you right-click on something.
It gives more space to the commits, i.e. the most important things. In fact, you can collapse or reduce the other menus/windows.
It displays the current path (project, branch) on an horizontal (clickable) bar at the top. It's just a matter of taste but I prefer this to the traditional "tree" view.
It has undo and redo buttons on the main window.
It supports some drag-and-drop gestures (for example: drag-and-droping the local branch to the remote one pushes it).
Built on top of Electron, so it runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Pro Free version available
There are both pro and free versions available. The free version is pretty complete feature-wise for day-to-day operations.
Pro Offers a simple way of undoing mistakes
GitKraken has simple undo/redo buttons that work the same way you'd expect in any other software.
Pro Extremely easy to use
A lot of care has gone into trying to make GitKraken as easy and intuitive as possible and it show. Every action is quick and painless with no more user interaction than necessary. For example, switching to another branch is as easy as a double-click on the sidebar.
Pro Some of the best integration with hosted version control services
GitKraken can be connected to Github, Gitlab, or Bitbucket accounts through OAuth. From that point onward most if not all actions that are related to these services can be done inside GitKraken. Things like: cloning or forking a repository, adding a remote, pushing to a remote repository hosted on these services can be done inside the app.
You can even manage pull requests inside GitKraken for example. All pull requests for a certain branch for example are shown on that branch's graph.
Pro Has a FuzzyFinder
GitKraken has a fuzzy finder to switch between repos / files.
Pro GitFlow support out of the box
Supports GitFlow out of the box.
Pro Under constant improvement
A quick glance at GitKraken's release notes shows how frequently it's updated. Updates are released on a 2-4 week cycle and each one brings new features and bug fixes.
Pro Good keyboard shortcuts
Pro Perfect for beginner developers
GitKraken is easy to use and is brilliant for the beginner developers
Con Visual Studio 2017 CE account sign in fails behind a corporate proxy
After the trial period it expires.
Con Must log into GitKraken servers to use the free version
All functionality is disabled unless you register for a free account and remain logged in.
There is the $79/user/yr Enterprise option. It allows you to deploy a Linux License Server in an air-gapped/offline environment.
Con Not open source
It is gratis (no cost) but is not open source. The community cannot fix problems in it, audit it for security, or trust it in general.
Con Has memory-related issues
Like most Electron apps, GitKraken has some memory-related issues. For starter, it requires more memory for an action than an equivalent non-Electron application. Although this should not be a problem most of the time for people who use machines with lots of RAM (after all, RAM is pretty cheap nowadays), it can have some issues when opening large repositories and there have been cases where GitKraken failed to open very large repositories or started lagging once they were opened.
Con Crashes once in a while
Under specific circumstances, like resetting 5000+ changes, the GUI will crash.
Con Not free for commercial use
The free version of GitKraken cannot be used in commercial projects.
Con Amending merge output is a pro feature
In most cases of Merge Conflicts, users are stuck with auto-merge or manually resolving it by hand. This is because in the Free Tier, users can only (1) Keep File (ver 1), (2) Keep File (ver 2), (3) Auto-merge, or (4) Use External Merge Tool.
In addition, using External Merge Tools is very limited because GitKraken (all tiers) restricts External Merge Tools to only those it managed to Auto-detect. It also does not support custom arguments for the External Tools.
Modifying the merge output directly, or Selecting lines to keep/discard, is a Paid Feature.
Con Ugly, looks like a web app
Con Has annoying popup reminders that ask you to upgrade to the Pro version
Understandable, since nobody is entitled to use work done by others for free, but annoying nonetheless.
Can take between 2 and 5 seconds to load a repository, if not crashing while loading
Con No tab support
Cannot access multiple repositories in the same session.
Con Missing some advanced features
Checkout & Hard Reset
Advanced or Interactive Rebase (aka history rewrite)
Progress bar indicator