Rob Caron

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A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio 2005 Team System, Part II

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio 2005 Team System, Part II

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Part II – Visual Studio 2005 Pricing & Licensing

In Part I, I described the evolution of Visual Studio, including the new Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions and Visual Studio 2005 Team System. In this part, I’ll explore Visual Studio 2005 pricing and licensing. However, I’m going to save a discussion of Team Foundation Server pricing and licensing for Part III.

Current Pricing & Licensing

First, let’s take a look at how people acquire Visual Studio .NET 2003 and MSDN Subscriptions today and examine what the retail pricing looks like based on MSRP in US dollars:

Figure 2.1 �� Visual Studio .NET 2003 Pricing

 

Figure 2.2 – MSDN Subscriptions Pricing

Note   The prices shown are for initial purchase only. When renewing an MSDN Subscription, the price is typically lower. As with Visual Studio .NET 2003, each MSDN Subscription level contains the contents of the level below it. For a full inventory of what’s currently in each level, see Index and Product Information.

Back in Part I, I stated that Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional and Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect are the most commonly used editions of Visual Studio .NET 2003. However, Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect is seldom purchased as a standalone product. Instead, most people opt for an MSDN Universal Subscription, which provides considerably more value for the money. In fact, for existing MSDN Universal subscribers, the renewal cost for MSDN Universal is less than the cost of Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Architect. Most developers recognize the value and accessibility to Microsoft products that MSDN Universal provides, which explains its popularity.

Figure 2.3 – Most Common Way to Purchase Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect

Historically, purchasing an MSDN subscription has meant always having the latest version of Visual Studio. Essentially, an MSDN Subscription has been viewed by some as being like a de facto Software Assurance subscription for Visual Studio (and Microsoft Office Professional if you have MSDN Universal). However, this is inconsistent with how Microsoft products are typically sold. For example, large organizations looking to purchase Microsoft Office by subscription purchase Microsoft Office licenses and then acquire a Software Assurance subscription to ensure they have access to the latest version for the duration of the subscription. In other words, you buy a license for the product and then associate a subscription with it. With Visual Studio 2005, we are adopting this model. Instead of purchasing an MSDN subscription that contains Visual Studio, customers will instead purchase an edition of Visual Studio that suits their needs and then choose whether or not to associate a subscription with it.

When Team System pricing and licensing was announced in March of this year, several small and independent development teams felt they were priced-out of Team System. Much has also been said about the meaning of the word universal when talking about the MSDN Universal Subscription. I won’t debate the meaning of the word, especially in the context of a product name, which in my opinion precludes it from having definitive meaning.

Options for Current MSDN Universal Subscribers

When Visual Studio 2005 launches later this year, MSDN Universal and MSDN Enterprise will no longer be available for purchase. At that time, active MSDN Universal subscribers will be offered an upgrade to MSDN Premium Subscription and their choice of Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects, Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers, or Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Testers at no additional cost.

Figure 2.4 – Upgrading MSDN Universal Subscribers to a Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition Product with MSDN Premium Subscription

For those that want each of the Team Edition products, special pricing will enable MSDN Universal subscribers to upgrade to Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite.

Figure 2.5 – Upgrading MSDN Universal Subscribers to Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite with MSDN Premium Subscription at Special Pricing

Options for Current MSDN Enterprise Subscribers

Currently, MSDN Enterprise subscribers receive Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Developer. At the launch of Visual Studio 2005, active MSDN Enterprise subscribers will be automatically upgraded at no additional cost to MSDN Premium Subscription and Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers. Not only will MSDN Enterprise subscribers receive a substantial Visual Studio upgrade, but they’ll also receive an expanded MSDN subscription at an incredible price.

Figure 2.6 – Upgrading MSDN Enterprise Subscribers to Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers with MSDN Premium Subscription

Options for Current MSDN Professional Subscribers

Also at Visual Studio 2005 launch, MSDN Professional subscribers will have the choice of Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition with MSDN Professional Subscription, or upgrading to Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition with MSDN Premium Subscription. As you may recall from Part 1, Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition with the MSDN Premium Subscription is a pure superset of the functionality found in MSDN Universal today. With this transition plan, Microsoft is providing more features when compared to the MSDN Universal Subscription. As you can see here, it is less expensive, too.

Figure 2.7 – Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition with MSDN Premium Subscription  is a Superset of Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect

 

Figure 2.8 – Upgrading MSDN Professional Subscribers to Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition with MSDN Professional Subscription

Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition is built specifically for small businesses and individual professional developers. MSDN Professional Subscription includes a vastly improved version of Visual SourceSafe for the change management needs of this category of developers. Additionally, Microsoft does realize there is value in some Team System features for these developers, such as unit testing and code coverage. This is why Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers has been made so accessible for current MSDN Universal and Enterprise subscribers.

More for Less

Alternatively, customers can opt for purchasing Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition without an accompanying MSDN subscription. What should be immediately obvious is that Visual Studio Professional pricing has dropped considerably while the level of functionality has increased dramatically. Almost all of the Visual Studio functionality found in Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Architect for US$2499 will be available in Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition for US$799! With all the noise surrounding Team System pricing, this fact has been sorely overlooked.

Figure 2.9 – Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition and Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition

I won’t say much about Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition or the Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions. These editions are both relatively inexpensive, with the Standard Edition having an estimated retail price of US$299 and the Express Editions having an estimated retail price of US$49.

Bottom Line

If you don’t have an MSDN subscription (Universal or Enterprise), you should seriously consider getting one before Visual Studio 2005 launches. If your goal is to obtain all of Team System, an MSDN Universal Subscription is your best option. However, if obtaining the unit testing and code coverage features found in Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers is your goal, MSDN Enterprise Subscription will suffice.

In Part III, I’ll take a look at Team Foundation Server pricing & licensing.

  • It seems that Microsoft is more interested in having a few dollars in its pockets right NOW instead of taking a look at the long term implications of these ridiculous prices.

    Not only is the price of the team suite outrageous, lets look at the express products on the other end of the spectrum. $49? What on earth is Microsoft going to do with my lousy $49?

    If you have 10 developers considering VC# Express, and

    a) It's free and you have 10 developers writing .NET code for the Windows platform
    b) It costs $49 and you have 7 developers writing .NET, so Microsoft gets a whopping $343 while the other developers have gone to another (free, open) platform (which shall remain nameless)

    Microsoft seems to think option (b) is better. I just dont get that. Option (a) is so far better for MS I just can't comtemplate the monumental stupidity and short-sightedness of the fools making these decisions over there. Wake up MS!! You are not a monopoly anymore and you are losing developer mindshare at an alarming rate!! HEELLOO!? Is anyone paying attention???
  • You had me up until you provided this post. Here are 3 scenarios. Tell me who is better off.
    1) Current Universal Subscriber renews for $2299 and gets VS2005TE for Software Developers plus the MSDN Premium
    2) Current Enterprise Subscriber renews for $1599 and gets VS2005TE for Software Developers plus the MSDN Premium.
    3) Current Professional Subscriber renews for $1999 and gets VS2005 Professional plus upgrades to MSDN Premium.

    It seems like the sweet spot is to be an Enterprise Subscriber now and upgrade for $1599. That person is getting more than the current Professional Subscriber and paying less for it. Also the current Enterprise Subscriber is getting the same as the current Universal Subscriber and paying less than the current Universal Subscriber for it.

    Is it correct that current Universal subscribers are paying that extra $700 to get a choice of the three different versions of Team Edition, but will only end up with one of the three?

    What will renewal pricing look like next year when we are renewing this new MSDN Subscription?

    I feel a little left out with my little Professional Subscription. I can't upgrade to MSDN Premium without feeling like I'm being taken advantage of when looking at what the current Enterprise Subscriber is getting. I'll just stick with what I currently have and thank you for letting me pay $100 less for it.
  • I can see the Professional to MSDN Premium pricing now that I've thought about it some, and considered what all is in MSDN Premium.

    However, I still think that those with MSDN Universal are getting a raw deal compared to MSDN Enterprise users going to Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers. They both could end up with the exact same set of software, but the current Universal subscriber is paying $700 more than the current Enterprise user.
  • There's been lots of interesting posts and news that have come up in the last couple of weeks. Since...
  • First, this is not an "I should get all the new stuff without having to pay for it" post, like so many other posts I've seen.

    What confuses me is that as a current MSDN Universal subscriber who will likely choose VS 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers, I will be incurring a $700 penalty over current MSDN Enterprise subscribers.

    So, should I be downgrading to MSDN Enterprise to be able to get the $1599 renewal price instead of $2299? Is that even an option for me?
  • Is there anywhere that I can find a breakdown of the features in VS.Net 2005 Standard and VS.Net 2005 Pro?
  • Thanks for the post, that's tidied things up nicely. It's a shame this kind of thing isn't easily available on the MSDN site, if at all?

    My biggest question is with regards to the separation of Visual Studio Team Xxx editions. I admit I've only just managed to get VS2005 beta 2 downloaded, and haven't had time to play around with the previous CTPs, so I'm not entirely sure with regards to any overlap of features between the Team editions.

    So, for instance, we all currently have MSDN Universal subscriptions. We're a relatively small shop so are unlikely to need Team Foundation, and so we'll likely be moving to MSDN Premium. The Architect edition is probably not needed, but certainly the Test edition functionality would be useful. It may be a slightly unfair comment to make, but my personal opinion as a result of the changes is that the editions don't really account for places where there isn't a clear demarcation of roles within teams.

    But thank you again for the set of articles, they've been far, far better at explaining the changes than other things I've read.
  • Will Visual Source Safe 2005 be included in the MSDN Professional subscription? We don't have a need for the Team System, just source code control...
  • Check out the
    blogs to find out. Apparently it will start to be treated like other products...
  • Interesting finds this week
  • If you weren’t satisfied with my explanation of Team System pricing and licensing [A Hitchhiker’s...
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