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Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Delivery Date Slips

But Micosoft plans to cut the price of the development tools once they become available.

Charles Babcock

March 18, 2005

3 Min Read

Microsoft disclosed Monday that the planned release date for Visual Studio 2005 has slipped from midyear to the end of the year. But the good news is that Microsoft will have a blue-light special when the development tools are available.

"We want to ensure it comes out right. People will remember years from now if Visual Studio 2005 comes out with a huge bug. But they won't remember if it comes out two months late," says Prashant Sridharan, group product manager for Visual Studio 2005. Microsoft previously was committed to getting Visual Studio out in "the summer of 2005," he says.

Microsoft will reduce the retail price of Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition, the version of the tools for experienced developers, to $799 from the current price of $1,079 for Visual Studio 2003. An upgrade from an existing version of Visual Studio will be priced at $549.

Visual Studio Standard Edition tools, a step below the Professional level, will no longer be offered as individual $99 tools. Instead, Standard Edition will consist of a $299 package that combines Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J#, and Visual C++. This tool set is aimed at client-server-style developers, Sridharan says. Upgrades for existing Standard Edition users will be $199.

Microsoft also will launch entry-level Express Editions of its tools for beginning programmers and novice users. Express Editions of Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J#, and Visual C++ will be priced at $49 each. Microsoft will work through its reseller channels to offer special discounts that in some instances could result in a price "that could even be zero," Sridharan says.

Also to be added to the toolset lineup is the upcoming high-end Visual Studio Team System, a version of Microsoft's tools with collaborative features including server-based source-code change control for development teams. Team Suite will be priced at $10,939 and will include three role-based tools: Team Edition for Software Architects, Team Edition for Software Developers, and Team Edition for Software Testers. The tools work with the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server which manages collaborative features across the tools such as monitoring bug-count project progress.

Many Visual Studio developers obtain their tools through an annual subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network. MSDN includes test licenses for the Microsoft servers such as the SQL Server database with which developed applications will work. Estimated retail pricing for Team System through a subscription will start at $3,191 for a volume license. More information on Team System pricing will be published at www.msdn.microsoft.com, Sridharan says.

The top end of MSDN subscriptions is the Universal subscriber. Microsoft's special will be to offer a free upgrade to one of the role-based Team System tools for anyone who is an existing Universal subscriber when Team System comes out by the end of the year, Sridharan says.

Subscription pricing also will be revised, he says, giving developers a better choice of both tools and subscription level, instead of a particular tool being tied to a particular subscription level as it is now.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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