Microsoft bows to user pressure over Visual Studio licence costs

Microsoft has lowered the pricing of its forthcoming Visual Studio Team System Suite.

Microsoft has lowered the pricing of its forthcoming Visual Studio Team System Suite.

Due out on 7 November, Visual Studio Team System is the high-end version of Microsoft's development suite, which provides a set of tools for managing software projects.

The suite's three main components are: Team Edition for Software Testers, Team Edition for Software Developers and Team Edition for Software Architects. They can be licensed separately for $5,469 (£3,172) each, or bought as a bundle in Team Suite for $10,939 (£6,345).

Microsoft is also selling a product called Team System Foundation for managing a team's development work.

But in order to use the team development functions in Team System Foundation, Microsoft previously stated that users needed to buy a separate $499 (£289) client access licence (CAL) for each developer, tester, architect and project manager.

However, John Montgomery, director of product management in Microsoft's development division, said users who buy Team Edition for Software Testers, Team Edition for Software Developers or Team Edition for Software Architects will now get a five-seat client access licence for Team System Foundation if they also take out a subscription to Microsoft's developer support programme, MSDN Premium. This represents a saving of almost $2,500 (£1,450).

Also, if users buy or upgrade to the highest level of MSDN subscription, MSDN Universal, they can buy Visual Studio 2005 Team System Suite for a promotional price of $2,299 (£1,333).

The price changes come as Microsoft attempts to introduce a new type of licensing based on job role.

Ovum analyst Bola Rotibi said, "Microsoft has listened to concerns over licensing [Visual Studio Team System Suite], and there is still a big concern over role-based licensing. Microsoft has addressed issues where users have more than one role."


Visual Studio 2005 Team System

This includes design, software development, testing and project management tools along with version control software.

The tools are licensed based on three job roles: project manager, software architect and tester. To make the most of the team development support, users will need Team System Foundation, a product that provides source code control and asset management plus integrated work item tracking and reporting.



  • Each of the three main components in Visual Studio Team 2005 System - Team Edition for Software Architects, Software Developers, Software Testers - costs $5,469 (£3,172) per licence. This price includes an MSDN Premium subscription.
  • Team Foundation Server: $2,799 (£1,595)
  • Team Foundation Server Client Access Licence (CAL): $499 (£289)


This was last published in July 2005



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