Create a MSDN Subscription - Lite version - cheaper and limited tools
Currently all MSDN subscriptions are expensive for individual developers and they provide all s/w that are not really required by individuals.
An individual developer, for hobby, can use express editions of SQL Server, does not need Enterprise editions of OS / Office and similar software that increase the cost of MSDN license.
The suggestion is to create a MSDN Lite subscription that individual developers can buy and will provide tools such as Visual Studio, Expression Studio, Azure
The licensing cost should change little bit-
* For individual developers, the rates should be lower.
* For enterprises, the price can be higher (as now)
Craig Deubler commented
I completely agree, the Express stuff is nice but it just doesn't cut it if you want to really just 'work'.
Action Pack is ~AUD500 for 3x professional licenses, with a whole ton of unnecessary server software. Why can't we just have an 'MSDN/VS Indy' for ~$50-70 per year, that's currently what I pay for RubyMine / WebStorm.
The common answer of "Just do BizSpark" also isn't fantastic as it's jumping through hoops and an unnecessary impediment when you just want to build something without having to think about how you have to phrase a business plan!
I agree that there needs to be a cheaper version for individuals. I'm not a student and I would like a cheaper way to obtain a MSDN subscription. Developing would be just a hobby for me since I'm not good at it and just want to give it a try but for something I may only mess with a couple of times a year its not worth $700. Reason the MSDN Subscription interests me is because I have 4 computers and buying Windows software for all adds up. Having a subscription MSDN will help me get the licenses I need more affordable.
Microsoft should give customers a better way to buy its software. Asking for outrageous prices that are meant for small businesses to individuals is not a good strategy.
In my opinion they need to give us $300 MSDN subscription option for individuals not $700 a year.
Ok, I am probably late to the party, but I chanced on this blog lately.
What's the verdict?
How do we get MS to notice and respond to this request? Not sure if a MSConnect will work?
David Thole commented
I agree that lower prices would be nice. This may not be as necessary when VS2014 comes out, but resharper/jetbrains offers free subscriptions for open source developers. There are some of us who like developing open source software, and being unable to get VS professional for a reasonable price is kinda a problem. I'm glad the express versions exist, but stuff like Resharper don't work on it.
I think it would really make sense to have a lite version...you pay - don't know - 100-200$ / year and you get VS Professional and some credits for Azure. MS could restrict the usage so that it is not useable for enterprises etc.
VB Coder commented
And a lower cost MSDN subscription should include VB6 (currently only in the top MSDN subscription). After all, the VB6 programming language is now the leading Microsoft language in the May 2014 Tiobe index.
What frustrates the **** out of me is that as a replacement for the retired Action Pack offering, I asked Microsoft what the cheapest route to VS Pro was for a single developer. They didn't even mention this subscription model and just referred me to their VS Pro subscription at £1000's. Thanks @martin for doing their job, I wasn't aware of this and it is far better value than buying outright.
The word Express just implies that the product is lacking. I use VS Pro for web (only) design. Also BizSpark only is valid for five years, so given we're at the back end of the worst financial climate in history, surely MS should be trying their best to help the smaller guys out and encourage people to their platforms and away from LAMP?? [...runs for cover!]
Why bother with MSDN? What about this?
There is a 90 day free trial and currently a special intro price of $22.50 pcm ($270pa) no idea how long that offer lasts. Full price is $45 pcm ($540pa so about the same as a VS pro retail licence without MSDN used to cost).
With the trial and the special offer it's a good offer. For the full price or $45 dollars a month it isn't (if memory serves) any cheaper than the full retail version of VS pro used to cost but at least you will always be running the latest version and with the increase in the release cadence from MS that might not be such a bad thing.
Still no comparison on price to SharpDevelop or MonoDevelop (Xamarin Studio) which are free but if you really must have VS pro then I guess this is one option..
Gabriel Lozano-Moran commented
I agree with the comments made here that we should have some kind of licensing model such as the Adobe Creative Cloud. For freelance consultants the current MSDN Subscriptions are unaffordable!
Dominik Ernst commented
Visual Studio + Blend, Office, SQL-Server, Expression Studio and Azure should be included. Expression Studio should be further developed.
True. MSDN is unaffordable for individual developers. Office 365 subscription model with reasonable monthly price could be a solution.
Perhaps instead of money, people could provide some (Crowd source) service to reduce the cost of MSDN. For example, when they provide a number of correct answers to a problem, or contribute ideas to User Voice, they will get an ever increasing amount of discounts and benefits to MSDN subscription. For those who already have MSDN subscription, they could get XBox Live credits, server support or tech support calls credits, etc.
Punit Ganshani commented
Yes, that's precisely my point - I wouldn't mind pay-as-you-go model for MSDN subscription as well. Much on the lines of Adobe Creative Suite where we get Adobe products for a monthly subscription. Discounted when you commit to use them for 1 year (like Azure)
Dan Friedman commented
The current biggest difference between the MSDN tiers is the amount of VS you need. When really I think web developers, which I am, want all of VS, but don't care about most of the additional software we get. Web developers typically don't need additional (or any) copies of Windows, Office, BizTalk, etc. Any copies of Windows I need for back-compat testing can be done with Azure credits. Maybe MSDN should be structured like the Express versions of VS. MSDN for Web Developers, MSDN for Windows Developers and MSDN Ultimate (for developers than span the spectrum).
Since MS retired the Technet Subscriptions we need a "reasonable priced" MSDN subscription. A development team consisting of a Guy and his laptop can't afford to purchase a full MSDN subsciption but still want to test the program against different Windows/Office versions etc.
Brad Edward Christie commented
How about taking on the Adobe/Office365 pricing model? X$X/month or $Y/yr for full up-to-date software? I love that Office365 went to a monthly pricing model--$10/month and I have the office suite that's always up-to-date? Sure beats $300 or so up-front.
Increasing the price proportionally, a nominal monthly fee for the various tiers of development tools would be nice. Taking it a step further, allowing 2 seats (instead of 5 like O365) would be nice; And get on board with online sync (add-ins/snippets/project templates/etc. install to all versions).
Uuuuh...you should think about getting a BizSpark account buddy.
and they are full versions...
Think about Microsoft DreamSpark program or WebsiteSpark program.
Daniel José Dos Santos commented
Couldn't agree more with you.
The funny thing is that if you are an small company you can buy Action Pack which is VERY cheap (R$ 700,00), but if you're an individual developer (professional or for hobby) MSDN is too expensive (R$ 2.500,00 in Brazil).
Peter Stone-Thompson commented
I actually have a different use case for this. I work full time for a company where I already have a work machine with Visual Studio Professional, what I'd really like is a legal version of Visual Studio which I can use at home on a personal machine to allow me to build personal projects and practice for CPD. I have a personal license for ReSharper which won't work with Express editions and in any case I'd like to use the same tools for CPD that I use a work. I'd willingly pay a reasonable/affordable annual or monthly amount for the purpose, and you could set the license terms so it can only be purchased by individuals and not by companies (in much the same way that JetBrains do with ReSharper). In line with ReSharper it should however allow commercial work as it isn't uncommon for developers to work on paid and unpaid projects in their own time.