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Windows free for developers ?

You write :
"... when you're writing software for Windows, it doesn't cost one extra cent. In fact at no time in the history of Windows did developers ever have to worry about the cost of Windows itself..."

Even as a student, a software development tool like Visual C++ is not free, nor is the Windows license. I know you mean there is no *extra* cost, no extra charge to distribute software. But there is an initial cost, compared to other free platforms.

Frederic
Monday, September 02, 2002

Get you faculty to get
http://www.msdnaa.net/program/
then it is free for you.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, September 02, 2002

Visual C++ is NOT required for developing windows apps.

You can freely download the SDK, and there are several free C compilers available.  LCC-Win32 is my fav.

Sven Galli
Monday, September 02, 2002

Borland provides a free command line compiler that can be used for developing Windows programs...

Joe AA
Monday, September 02, 2002

Thank you for the command line tools links. Now let's say Windows developers use the command line, and do not use tools like Visual Basic, Visual C++, or anything else. Using only cl.exe and a free text editor, the Windows Platform looses some interest, but why not.

At this point, Windows XP still costs from 199$ (Home Edition) to 299$ (Professional Edition) for a single user on a single computer. And if you want to distribute your software for Win9x, NT, 2000, XP like the majority of Windows software, you need access to these platforms, at least to test. (Let's admit it is possible to do multi-boot with these configurations without additionnal software). You have the MSDN solution, interesting, but it is not free.  Finally at every Windows upgrade, the developer also needs to upgrade.

That is why one can not say that "at no time in the history of Windows did developers ever have to worry about the cost of Windows itself".

Frederic
Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Frederic,

no offense, but you are a student. As a student these issues do not concern you directly. You get (or should get) all these things for free.
As a hobbyist, I strongly doubt you would need a full MSDN subscription. Just get a VC++ or VC# for <100$ and use the OS that came with your machine. Get friends to test on other OS versions etc.
In the real world, getting a MSDN subscription adds less then 1% to the total cost of the developer. I think this was what was refered to in the statement you object to.

Don't kid yourself. When was the last time you tested your Linux code on Red Hat Linux Advanced Server?

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, September 03, 2002

"Just me (Sir to you)",

"no offense, but you are a student".
I work as a software developer, I use Windows at work, and I am OK with it.

I know I can get friends to get Windows, or ask my company to buy the tools, or that students can ask the university to get an annual membership.

I was just wondering why some many people think that Windows is free, or just neglect its price, just because it is everywhere.

Frederic
Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Frederic,

sorry. I misinterpreted your "As a student" comment above. Probably in your workplace as in most others, spending 1000$/year on the dev. tools is a non-issue.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, September 03, 2002

I think the assumption was made that if someone wants to develop a windows application then they probably already have some version of Windows (it's come installed on 99% of all PCs for years now). All of the necessary development tools can be had for free.

PaleRider
Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Actually, I think he was referring to the fact that the "windows runtime" is already installed on the machines that will be running your application. You don't have to pay Microsoft for a runtime to sell your Windows apps, like you would have to pay Groove to use their runtime if you wanted to distribute a Groove app.

Bob

Bob Crosley
Tuesday, September 03, 2002

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