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MSDN Subscription question

http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/pricing/default.asp

Can somone recommend a subscription package?  I can provide details about myself if anyone wants to ask, "Well it depends on you; what do you want?"  However, if no one minds my asking, what has worked for you?

Andrew Burton
Friday, January 23, 2004

Well, it DOES depend on what you want...

I'm subscribed to MSDN Pro which gives me the quarterly MSDN Library updates, ALL development tools including Visual Studio, and ALL operating systems. I'd buy most of that stuff anyway (i.e. Library, VS.NET, current "Pro" OS) so the price is okay.

If you always need the current version of Office, too, you might want to consider the next higher level (whatever its name).

Chris Nahr
Friday, January 23, 2004

Chris, I'm a professional developer, but my development is almost always done on Linux/Unix systems with Perl or PHP.  I'm mostly curious (and I should have asked this in the first post, so I apologize for not doing that) which package someone would recommend for a person who wants to broaden his development horizons by working on a few open source, Windows projects.

Thanks.

Andrew Burton
Friday, January 23, 2004

If you're still deciding whether you like the environment, you have a couple far less expensive ways to go, assuming you already have XP Pro on your box.

1. Download the .NET SDK and do it all on the command line. It's not as draconian as it sounds, since you can use makefiles or NAnt to help your builds.

2. Buy a copy of Visual C# Standard Edition for $99.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Friday, January 23, 2004

Yeah, what Brad said. I like to have the MSDN Library installed on my system but actually you can browse most (all?) of the contents on the Microsoft site, so if you're just exploring Windows development I wouldn't buy any MSDN subscription right now.

There's the free SharpDevelop IDE, and most editors have a C#/VB.NET mode now. Or if you want to do Win32 development, the Platform SDK is another free download at the Microsoft website, just like the .NET SDK. The only problem here is that you don't get the C++ compiler -- Borland's free command-line compiler should work, though.

Chris Nahr
Friday, January 23, 2004

I don't know if this is what Chris meant by the SharpDevelop IDE, but I downloaded Borland's C#Builder product and was quite happy with it.

I couldn't find an easy way in the Borland product to look at interfaces exposed in DLLs, so I went online and found a free standalone product called Reflector that does that.

With those two tools, I was set with a cheap development environment that might suffice for you.

Zahid
Friday, January 23, 2004

No, SharpDevelop is an open-source project which is available right here: http://www.icsharpcode.net/

Quite a few people seem to use it but I haven't tried it myself since I'm already using Visual Studio.

Chris Nahr
Friday, January 23, 2004

Thanks, everyone, for the advice.  I'm off to look at Borland now for those free commandline tools -- gotta love that F-word.  :)

I've got VS.NET 2002 (I think it's the Pro suite, but it's the Academic lisence), as well as the .Net SDK, and MSDN.com is a favorite site of mine.  I just wasn't sure if the MSDN subscription was worth getting (as a Microsoft hobbyist/developer).  I guess for now, it's really not worth it.  Thanks again.

Andrew Burton
Friday, January 23, 2004

Don't forget that MSDN ("operating systems" and above, e.g. Pro) gives you a licence to run 10 copies of all the OSes.

Plus! A new product Virtual PC 2004 dropped through the door last week... Microsoft's answer to VMWare.

For £500 odd/year I get all this lovely stuff (and I can offset it against 40% tax so it's really only £300+/year)

And you get to raise TWO free support calls! Ho Ho. I've only used one so far because I don't want to waste them.. I've got another issue but it's already well known and there is no solution... it annoys me that if you raise a support call and it really is a bug in their product that it counts as one of your calls.... (some companies could pay to report a problem that is actually Microsoft's fault which is ridiculous)

Incidentally, MSDN (of any flavour) does not give you Office.

Gwyn
Saturday, January 24, 2004

"Incidentally, MSDN (of any flavour) does not give you Office."

Sorry, that's false.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/levels/default.asp

MSDN Universal comes with Office 2003, Visio 2003, Project 2003, and MapPoint 2004.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Saturday, January 24, 2004

Humble pie being eaten. Yum Yum

(I think this must be a recent change to the package - certainly since ~I took mine out 2 years ago).

Gwyn
Saturday, January 24, 2004

Sorry Gwyn, I first started getting the MSDN Universal in 1997 and Office was included then.

Stephen Martin
Saturday, January 24, 2004

"Plus! A new product Virtual PC 2004 dropped through the door last week... Microsoft's answer to VMWare."

It isn't a "new product" -- Microsoft acquired Virtual PC about a year ago when they bought most of the technology of Connectix.

Dennis Forbes
Saturday, January 24, 2004

I'll give you that it hasn't always been in there. The first version of MSDN I got was 4 CDs. That was back in 1993. Office wasn't included then. No tiers, either. I remember when it got all the way up to 10 CDs, I thought, "Man, this is insane! 10 CDs worth of content! Who could use all this?" Of course, disc 10 was videos, like the now classic "Studs: From Microsoft". I have that disc around here somewhere...

However, as the previous poster pointed out, it's been in there a long time. I was roommates with a guy who bought his first subscription around 1996, and it was there then.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Saturday, January 24, 2004

I don't think Office as a suite was around in 1993.

I must admit, I find it irritating that you have to take out the most expensive version to get Office.

Stephen Jones
Monday, January 26, 2004

Well, it's Microsoft's biggest cash cow. Wouldn't want to give that away with an MSDN subscription!

Chris Nahr
Monday, January 26, 2004

One can always buy MSDN Sets from a Licensed Reseller to obtain the equally free and regularly hush hush "Royalty Free" versions of many MSDN Sets without the price of an MSDN Subscription...

Namely at HTTP://WWW.FMSALES.COM -go to the specials page...

...NANoo NANoo...
...May the force be with you...
...Don't eat with your hands when you have utensils in front of you...

Philip Bawa
Sunday, February 01, 2004

One more thing...

I was namely talking about your Office 2000, Office XP Beta needs (Codename "Whistler" goes there cheap too)...

Philip "The Wise Vegan"

Philip Bawa
Sunday, February 01, 2004

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