Microsoft’s first high-end development platform, the Team System edition of the Visual Studio .net product family, will be licensed on a per-user basis, the company has announced.
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The Visual Studio 2005 Team System expands Microsoft’s development tool suite by adding support for software teams to collaborate and communicate more efficiently. It will cost about £1,700 per user.
But analysts have warned users with large teams that were planning to buy the new tools to contact Microsoft about costs.
Mark Quirk, head of technology at Microsoft, said, "Team System will be licensed per user, but users can install as many copies as they like."
Michael Azoff, senior research analyst at Butler Group, said this pricing model could prove more expensive than Microsoft’s traditional client-access scheme, which is available on its server software products.
In particular, organisations with large teams of programmers spread across different continents in "follow-the-sun" 24x7 IT projects could be hit.
Azoff urged users to contact Microsoft and argue for more flexible licensing. Team System will be available in the second half of 2005 and is likely to prove popular among users looking to improve software project quality.
In the past, Visual Studio users have run third-party tools to support requirements management. Azoff said the attraction of Team System was that it offered a single repository for managing requirements that will reduce project error.