Thursday, July 15, 2004

Visual Studio 2005 - Product Line Overview

At last, Microsoft finally gets around to providing some information about product differentiation in its upcoming Visual Studio 2005 release.

I like most of the options offered under the Visual Studio Professional Edition column, and the absence of Visual SourceSafe (which I've never lied) is something I can live with, as is the lack of support for unit testing. What does get on my nerves is that one should have to buy Visual Studio Team System to get support for code profiling and static analysis, which I find simply ridiculous. For goodness' sake, the freely available GCC compiler suite has had support for code profiling forever, and yet here's Microsoft asking developers to hand over $2500 (or likely far more) for a feature which one ought to take as a given in a decent development suite.

I can't wait to see what eye-watering numbers Microsoft decides to attach to the Professional and Team System editions come 2005. A full copy of Visual Studio .NET Professional Edition is listed at $1,079, while even the "Competitive Upgrade" goes for $489; by way of contrast, an MSDN Professional subscription that provides the same development suite as well as all of Microsoft's operating systems goes for $1,189. Why would anyone go for the standalone package in the face of such pricing? I suppose that's the whole idea, of course ...

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