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I have been developing a site with SharePoint Designer and a web browser for awhile and I would like to start customizing the site with Visual Studio. I exported a .wsp file for the site and tried to import it into Visual Studio but I got the following error:

enter image description here

I tried installing both of these programs on Windows 7 and they don't seem to be compatible. Is there really no way for Visual Studio to handle this in Windows 7? It seems really counter-intuitive that I should need to purchase and install a server operating system to do something I was doing ten minutes ago mostly in browser.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Really hoping that MS hasn't let me down because I really don't have a way to get a server OS. Thanks in advance!

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In order to develop SharePoint solutions (farm or sandboxed), you must have SharePoint server installed. You can develop SharePoint apps without SharePoint Server, but you may need the Office Developer Tools, depending on your version of Visual Studio (the latest version of 2013 may have them installed already).
SharePoint 2013 does not support Windows 7/8/8.1. You can find workarounds to allow you to install, however it is not supported by Microsoft, and should only be used in development environments.
On a side note, you can sometimes find developer/preview licenses (good for 180 days) for Microsoft Products in their Test Lab Guides.

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Not, for do work in SharePoint from Visual Studio is required have install SharePoint (2010, 2013) in you local machine.

For know how to install SharePoint in Windows 7/8 read this:

Installing Sharepoint 2013 Windows 7

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