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Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Microsoft details licensing for Visual Studio 2005

Microsoft on Monday detailed pricing and licensing terms for Visual Studio 2005, one of the company's development tool sets.

The company also announced a simplification of its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscriptions, the primary vehicle through which most developers obtain Visual Studio.

Microsoft plans to reduce the retail price of Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition while offering special pricing to existing MSDN subscribers for Visual Studio 2005 Team System, the expansion of the Visual Studio product line that includes integrated software life-cycle tools.

Current Visual Studio users will be eligible for promotional pricing to acquire MSDN subscriptions now in preparation for Visual Studio 2005, the release of which is expected in the second half of 2005.

"With Visual Studio 2005 Team System, Microsoft introduces features and technologies to support application development through all phases of the software life cycle, from development to deployment," said S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft.

The Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition will cost US$799, while Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition will cost $299.

With the addition of Visual Studio Team System, Microsoft is hoping to expand the audience reach of the Visual Studio product line beyond individual developers to entire development teams. To facilitate this strategy, the company has added new tools for project managers, software testers, infrastructure and software architects, and I.T. business decision-makers.

The Team System also offers new features for software developers. With integrated application design, development and quality tools, as well as a customizable software process methodology, Team System is designed to offer development teams the tools and processes that will help them increase the predictability of successful projects, gain greater organizational efficiency and lower overall development costs.

"The trend to align I.T. and the line of business clearly mandates that the I.T. organization provide value throughout the entire application life cycle," said Theresa Lanowitz, research director at Gartner. "Requirements for products in this market and category have shifted away from individual point products and have instead begun to focus on strategic planning throughout the life cycle. Use of these more strategic products is expected to be one component of building an application quality ecosystem that also consists of people and process."

In preparation for Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft also will offer promotional pricing for customers who want to purchase or upgrade an MSDN subscription. Acquiring MSDN Universal allows customers to take advantage of the no-cost upgrade to Visual Studio 2005 Team System when the product is available in the second half of 2005.

What has not been cleared out is whether the updated version will have solved important issues and bugs reported for the current version of the Microsoft platform.

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