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Visual Studio 2005 Express pricing

I applaud the release of this ( http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/default.aspx ) product line. It was desperately needed. I see pricing hasn't been decided yet, but most here are throwing around a 50$ figure. Let us hope that is a mistake.

Clearly the goal of a line such as this one is not to bring in direct profits from sales, but to foster the dev. community, and indirectly sell more platform products by having more apps that run on them, right? While some might argue, what are you complaining about? If you can't even afford 50$ ...

But that is not the point. The problem is that the moment it costs anything, there are huge barriers to acquisition and adoption for many scenarios. Anything that requires purchase orders has a major disadvantages to anything that does not. Furthermore, it gives ABM zealots another point of obstruction (and believe me, speaking from experience, they will take advantage of any opportunity to sabotage trials of these products. Sad? Tell me about it).

Come on MS, do the right thing: keep the final release a free download and include it on every Windows and Office CD. Make sure every Web Hoster can have SQL Server express in the base package.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Looks like that's a pretty good way to get a beta of Yukon, if you haven't already got one.

Steve Jones (UK)
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

What is the point of the pictures above the products? Am I supposed to choose which one to buy based on whom I'd like to sleep with or something? I don't want to learn C#!


Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Yes, Microsoft, Just Me (Sir to us) is right. I hope you haven't got the MBA's running this. Any price destroys the benefit. Developers are your friends and you need to remove barriers ASAP.


Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Sir is spot on as usual.

The competition is Java, where SDK and Eclipse are available for free download: even for commercial use.

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I agree that the reach of the initiative would be greater if they decided to release it free. At the base of the pyramid, anything is significant.
But, they still have to sell the other tools, and the free option would eat a bit more of their revenue, perhaps by making it harder to sell.
One of the ways that open-source make money, is by offering a free solution with some license limitations and another commercial solution without the limitations.
The Microsoft solution has to be compared to that.

Dewd
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Microsoft's cash cow's are the operating system and Office. Everything else is just there to lock people into requiring the OS and Office.

So they can give away a development environment that only runs on and targets Windows. The last thing they want is programmers using a cross-platform development environment.

Anony Coward
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Hmm.

So is this a bit of a shot across the bow of #develop and other alternative tools?  Clearly #develop is targeting Mono on non-Windows platforms as a goal.

Preddie Frinze
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

It seems there are some other barriers to adoption tho'... The licensing seems to prohibit commercial use, and the project formats are not compatible with 'real' Visual Studio.

It seems like bait and switch to me...

c-choox
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

That's kind of an odd departure.

The existing single language products (Visual C# .NET, Visual Basic .NET) have compatible solution and project files with the big brother. Just, if you try to load a solution with a project that's outside the understanding of the product (i.e, a .vbproj file on Visual C# .NET), it says "don't know what to do with this, sorry."

I'd put money on compatible file formats in the final release.

Also, the "no commercial" restriction is undoubtedly in place because it's beta right now. I wouldn't fret that too much.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

It may be a no-win scenario for Microsoft. Give away the dev tools and they'd probably get sued for anti-trust violations. This is the next best thing.

> Anything that requires purchase orders has a major disadvantages to anything that does not

I've never known any company where clueful people couldn't find a way to get the company to pay for a $50 product without requiring a PO. Now I'm sure someone will tell me that it's impossible in their company, but seriously...

John C.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Believe me, it is a big issue at some places.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

"So is this a bit of a shot across the bow of #develop and other alternative tools?  Clearly #develop is targeting Mono on non-Windows platforms as a goal."

No, it is a response to Apple's inclusion of Xcode as a packin for anyone who buys Mac OS X Panther.

As usual, pure Open Source is largely irrelevant on the desktop and doesn't factor into this.

Mr Fancypants
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

>> Believe me, it is a big issue at some places.

Wow. An I thought a company I worked for a few years back was cheap.

They prided themselves on using a computer switch that allowed 2 people to use the same computer. Never  mind that people had to call out whenever they wanted to print because it would freeze the other session.

As for the Express stuff, I can't imagine why it should be free. You can download the SDK with compiler for free.

What they should do is bundle it with every copy of windows, just like the old days when an OS shipped with a compiler.

anon-182
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The compilers are free now. It's the IDE they charge for.

Personally, I can't see much difference between $50 and free. At $50, it's almost more effort for MS to collect the money than it's worth.

MilesArcher
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I have just downloaded Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition Beta, and had a few problems. The installer froze at the end of the installation process.

Moreover, I was unable to compile this simple piece of code (using a Win32 target, not managed C++):

//
#include <vector>

using namespace std;

template<typename T>
class vector_of_ptrs
{
public:
    vector_of_ptrs(int n) : v_(n) { }

private:
    vector<T *> v_;
    vector<T *>::iterator it_;  // Error on this line.
};
//

It does not do anything useful, but it should compile. It does with VC++ 6. (Or maybe there is something that has changed with the STL and that I don't know?)

So, unless you want to do some beta-testing for Microsoft, I suggest that you do not spend time downloading the "Express Edition Beta", and that you wait for the full release.

By the way, does someone know if the Visual C++.NET standard edition now include the *optimizing* compiler?

Zog
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Nothing to do with VS2005. That code won't compile on VC++ that comes with 2003, either.

test.cpp(13) : warning C4346: 'std::vector<_Ty*>::iterator' : dependent name is not a type
        prefix with 'typename' to indicate a type
        test.cpp(14) : see reference to class template instantiation 'vector_of_ptrs<T>' being compiled
test.cpp(13) : error C2146: syntax error : missing ';' before identifier 'it_'
test.cpp(13) : error C2501: 'vector_of_ptrs<T>::it_' : missing storage-class or type specifiers

The error even tells you what to do: prefix "vector<T *>::iterator _it;" with the keyword typename.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

And whats more, the reason it won't compile is because it doesn't comply to current C++ ISO standards.

Might want to consider that sort of thing before making an ass of yourself on a public forum, Zog.

Mr. Fancypants
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

> No, it is a response to Apple's inclusion of Xcode as a
> packin for anyone who buys Mac OS X Panther.

It might also be a response to Borland's freebie version of C#Builder -- a nice IDE for desktop apps, if I may say.  I' was using it for all my .NET work, until VB.NET 2003 was given away.  Now that C# Express is here, I imagine I'll be using it.

This isn't to contradict your Xcode comparison, just an addendum.

> As usual, pure Open Source is largely irrelevant on the
> desktop and doesn't factor into this.

I disagree.  It's not a HUGE factor, but it's a significant one.  I think Express is targeting college kids and hobbyists, who will and could mature into developers.  With Rotor and Mono on the horizon, you can use C# on Linux as easily (and cheaper) as Windows.  Express is a move on MS's part to encourage future OSS and Widget (re: Konfabulator) developers to develop on Windows.

Andrew Burton
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

To be clear, the CODE doesn't comply to the standard.  The COMPILER is doing the right thing.

Mr. Fancypants
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

"So, unless you want to do some beta-testing for Microsoft, I suggest that you do not spend time downloading the "Express Edition Beta", and that you wait for the full release."

I, for one, am shocked... *shocked* that a beta product has bugs.

Try the Tech. Preview first, then try the beta... it'll seem a world better, trust me.

Greg Hurlman
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The installer freeze might be a bug, but as I mentioned above, the other "bug" he cites isn't even a bug.  Or, rather, it is a bug in HIS code.  He needs to look up 'typename' usage in the standard, I think. 

Funny that Microsoft got shit for years because their compiler was non-standard compliant.  They go off and create one of the best, most standard-compliant compilers on the planet and then people complain that their code (which ISN'T standard compliant) breaks!

Mr. Fancypants
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

> With Rotor and Mono on the horizon...

Hmm... Mono 1.0 has been released hasn't it?

Drudy Mialnam
Wednesday, June 30, 2004


I guess mr fancy farts knows everything about the compiler.

Flax, oil, corn, computer programmers - all commodities
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Drudy,

Unless I missed the announcement, still in 1.0 beta.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

>> What is the point of the pictures above the products? Am I supposed to choose which one to buy based on whom I'd like to sleep with or something? I don't want to learn C#!

ROTFLMAO!!!

Mike Schinkel
Thursday, July 01, 2004

>> It seems there are some other barriers to adoption tho'... The licensing seems to prohibit commercial use, and the project formats are not compatible with 'real' Visual Studio.

You misread.  They are incompatible with VS 2003, but will be compatible with VS 2005 when it is released.

Mike Schinkel
Thursday, July 01, 2004

>> But that is not the point. The problem is that the moment it costs anything, there are huge barriers to acquisition and adoption for many scenarios. Anything that requires purchase orders has a major disadvantages to anything that does not. Furthermore, it gives ABM zealots another point of obstruction (and believe me, speaking from experience, they will take advantage of any opportunity to sabotage trials of these products. Sad? Tell me about it).

I run a reseller [http://www.xtras.net] that sells a lot of MSDN Universal as well as a lot of 3rd party .NET components and other tools.  But I completely agree.  Ideally Microsoft will make them free.  I'd rather see the market grow 10 fold than worry about the few dollars we loose from not selling a few MSDN Universals.

Microsoft said they'd announce pricing next year.  They can still announce that pricing is free then.

Mike Schinkel
Thursday, July 01, 2004

I apologize for my previous post. Because the compiler was a beta release, I assumed my code was correct and that the compiler had a bug. If it had not been a beta release, I would have looked more carefully at the error messages.

I was not trying to criticize the developers of the compiler.

Zog
Thursday, July 01, 2004

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