On my first post I promised that we'd try and listen to your feedback and let it influence our thinking.  I said back then and I'll say again that we won't always agree on what the "right" course of action is, but we will certainly listen and try and make changes where appropriate.

Fast forward a few months...  when we heard several very important things from you all during our initial rollout of the Team System pricing and licensing.  I'm happy to say that we've listened and changed our plans to address your concerns.  We know you want as much advance notice as possible regarding product changes because you need to plan accordingly.  Sometimes when we go out so early, though, we don't have all the answers completely nailed and this was one of those times.   Now that we've had a chance to internalized your feedback and concerns, here are a set of concrete things we're doing to address them: 

  • One area where we received a lot of feedback was from smaller organizations looking to use Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server.  The ability to amortize the cost of the server over a large number of devs makes the Server exceptionally cheap on a per seat basis when you are thinking 20, 50, 100, 500 people per server.  However when you are talking about 3 people on the server, well we can all do the math.  To help address this issue, we will place a limited version of Team Foundation Server in each Visual Studio Team System role edition.  This version will be restricted to a maximum of five users and should serve the needs of smaller organizations.  Teams that have a need for more users should still find that Team Foundation Server is significantly more cost effective than current source code control solutions and offers tremendous value through its role as the core of integration across all of the Team System.
  • We're introducing additional promotional pricing on the Team System for both retail and volume license customers.  So, going forward into 2005, MSDN Universal customers will have three choices (including promotional pricing):
    • Universal subscribers that want all of the client functionality of Team System will be able to upgrade to Team Suite by paying just the incremental software assurance or renewal price for the duration of their agreement.  In retail, this amounts to around $2300 and for most customers this represents a 75% or more discount on the full price of Team Suite.  Volume customers will, of course, pay less. Renewals for volume license customers continue at the promotional price for as long as you are an active volume license subscriber.
    • Universal subscribers who want Team Edition for Software Architects, Team Edition for Software Developers, or Team Edition for Software Testers will continue to be able to upgrade at no additional cost. Each of these “role Editions” includes the MSDN Premium Subscription which will come with the limited TFS.
    • Universal subscribers who want the 2005 equivalent of MSDN Universal can simply choose Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition with MSDN Premium Subscription. Universal subscribers who choose this option at renewal will get the functional equivalent of MSDN Universal for about 15% less than what they paid today. This version will not have any of the role based features nor will it include the limited TFS.
  • Another piece of feedback we heard loud and clear is that it is darn near impossible to find information about the Visual Studio products and MSDN subscriptions to make an informed decision about which product to move into with VS2005. The most critical aspect of this is getting product into your hands, so you can see for yourselves the capabilities of the Team System.  Get a copy of Beta 2 and install it.  Its very nice.  A second aspect, though, is providing more detailed product information on the entire Visual Studio 2005 line and a comparison of each product's contents – which we have now done at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/howtobuy/vs2005/subscriptions/.

Hopefully this addresses a bunch of the pain that people were experiencing because they really wanted the Team System all up including the TFS server. 

Thanks and keep the feedback coming.  We really are listening.

-Rick