VSTS pricing

There have been questions about pricing in the newsgroups.  Here is what Raju Malhotra had to say about it.  As I understand it, many of the pricing details have yet to be worked out and are far from being set in stone.

We will share the specific pricing details with you as soon as they are finalized but here is what we know. Hope this helps.

MSDN Universal customers will have an option to get any one of the VS Team Architect, VS Team Developer or VS Team Test products as part of their subscription without paying anything extra as long as their subscription is current at the release time. Of course, all other benefits of their subscription like monthly shipments, access to subscriber download site, MS servers for dev/test purposes, etc. will continue as usual. They will also be able to migrate to the full suite (including all three of the above prducts) at an additional price to be announced later. In general, the pricing for VS Team System products will be competitive with the lifecycle tools market.

We will also have upgrade paths available in retail. We are currently working on the upgrade eligibility and specific pricing for that.

Please stay tuned for more details.

Raju Malhotra
Product Manager,
Visual Studio Team System

Comments (22)

  1. Jody says:

    Not providing rights to a single user license of VS Team Architect, VS Team Developer and VS Team Test in MSDN Universal is a mistake (based on your comment about upgrading to all). This goes against the premise of MSDN Universal. If anything, make a version of the VS Team that encompasses features from all versions.

    It is understandable that TF Server or Load Testing CALs may be seperate, but all clients feature should be included in the Universal Subscription (at least all features).

  2. Sean says:

    Interesting, based on this current info, as MSDN Universal customer I feel kind of ripped off — and I know this is subject to change and what not, but here are my thoughts.

    What are the core values of having a MSDN Sub?

    (click, copy, paste from MSDN)

    "Comprehensive access to the Microsoft software you need to build and fully test applications and XML Web services. "

    but if you want to fully build and test applications in a team environment, well, sorry, that’ll cost extra.

    not so comprehensive anymore.

    They said themselves that dev tools aren’t a big part of MS profit — why construct this additional barrier for organizations who’s development teams are MSDN subscribers — suddenly, just having MSDN Universal isn’t good enough anymore and additional cost will need to be incurred by the orginazation to equip their team with first class collaboration tools.

    As a developer in a small group, I am tasked with multiple roles. At times I may be architecting a solution, developing, and testing. MSDN should provide to me the best tools available for performing these job roles — as MSDN does now and has done in the past.

    I feel that the MSDN Subscription price should go up, another tier added (Universal+?) or some other mechanism should be provided to incorporate VSTS into the MSDN blanket, but having MS market a developer tool which is seperate from the MSDN license I feel is just wrong.

  3. Raju Malhotra says:

    Thanks for your comments! I am responding separately to Jodi and Sean’s comments because they touch two important but separate issues. We will share more information with you as soon as we are ready.

    >> It is understandable that TF Server or Load Testing CALs may be seperate, but all clients feature should be included in the Universal

    >> Subscription (at least all features).

    Jodi, VS Team Foundation is a server product and will be licensed on a server/CAL (client Access License) model like many other MS servers. We plan to include a CAL for this server in each of the client products (i.e. VS Team Architect, VS Team Developer, VS Team Test and, of course, VS Team Suite). Since MSDN Universal customers will recieve one of the client products (except suite) as part of their subscription and the suite will be available at an additional (but attractive!) price, they all will have the CAL to access the VS Team Foundation. Basically, they have everything they need on the client side as you point out. There will be features in the client bits however that will not be available unless you have the server.

    >> I feel that the MSDN Subscription price should go up, another tier added Universal+?) or some other mechanism should be provided to incorporate VSTS into the MSDN blanket, but having MS market a developer tool which is seperate from the MSDN license I feel is just >> wrong.

    Sean, there will be a new subscription level that incorporates VS Team Suite. This is the level that will be available at an extra price that I mentioned above. Each of MSDN Universal customers will continue to get the usual subscription benefits like servers/SDKs/Library/etc.

    Again, we realize that you probably have more questions on pricing. We are still working on finalizing these details at this time and will announce more details in coming months.



    Product Manager

    Visual Studio Team System

  4. Sean says:

    "MSDN Subscription price should go up"

    Did I say that? er um.. ;)

    "Sean, there will be a new subscription level that incorporates VS Team Suite."

    Sounds great. Just for kicks, if you as a PM were restricted to just having the Universal subscription, which version of TS would you pick (other than suite)?

  5. Philip Rieck says:


    (My wife calls my universal subscription "the microsoft tax".)

    I have a Universal for one reason only: I’m a contract developer. I have VPCs with standard and odd server configurations. I have multiple development tools (vs6, vb6, vs2002, vs2003…) And the Universal gives me everything I need in the Microsoft "universe".

    Don’t take that away from me. I have paid you tens(!) of thousands of dollars for your toolsets so that I could recommend your server platforms and client software. We’ve both benefitted, but Microsoft has been paid a lot more for my work than I have.

    I’m glad to pay for the universal. But you *must* give me a subscription that gives me access to all of it – team suite, team system server (or team foundation, or whatever it ends up being called). And you must make it affordable to an individual like me.

  6. Philip Rieck says:

    As an addendum:

    Project Server is available through MSDN universal. VS Ent Architect is available. I know I’ve convinced (through demos and finished products) at least two sites to license project server. I did this because I knew it and could use it. All because of universal.

    And when I write code with other subscribers in my spare time to release to the community, I can use the top-of-the line tools to do so.

    Just a bit more rambling to let you know how deeply this announcement concerns me. Don’t make me quit being passionate about your products. The less enthused I am, the less enthused my clients are. And when they’re not excited, they’re not paying you. Those are *your* customers you’re losing.

  7. BillT says:

    I agree completely with Philip Rieck. Perhaps you should consider increasing the cost for larger organizations, while still keeping it affordable for the very small organizations.

    Think about it. The organization with 10+ developers can certainly realize a much greater advantange from MSDN-Universal, by leveraging the information with the additional developers. The more additional developers, the more extra benefit.

    A shop with only one (or a few) developers is highly constrained by the benefit they can reap from MSDN-Universal, since they have less time (proportionally) to dedicate to getting the full benefit of the product.

    Please keep "Intro to everything Microsoft" affordable to the small developer organization!

  8. Adam Hill says:

    I second, the suggestion for ‘cheaper prices for the small shop’. Where does MS get most of its beneift from? – word of mouth.

    Sure people read case studies and such, but it all starts with a person saying ‘this technology is appropriate for what we/I need to do’. If MS does this, enthusiasm will be lost.

    ‘…pricing for VS Team System products will be competitive with the lifecycle tools market.’ is just marketing speak for ‘We will bend you over like Rational did’. By definition, MS offering a tool means a *large* marketshare. I expect to see economies of scale, after all, most of MS will be using VSTS? Right????

    MSDN Universal is very expensive already, please don’t make it more so.

    (I will refrain from doing the Money Dance to remind you who your customer is, Raju:) )

  9. Gavin Greig says:

    My first reaction is one of disappointment too. I think it is important to include the full VSTS in the MSDN package. If that means having a new MSDN level above "Universal" – though I think a naming review might be in order – then so be it, though it does seem to be a change of direction.

    Are there plans to include VSTS in the package for Microsoft Certified Partners?

  10. Joe says:

    I for one am glad that VSTS will not be fully included in MSDN. If microsoft include a VSTS license in MSDN then the rest of the developer tools market may as well pack up and go an play elsewhere. If that happened, what would we be left with? A monopoly, that’s what, and a monopoly brings complacency and stagnation. Competition is good for microsoft and for everyone. As it is I can see many vendors going to the wall when VSTS is released, in fact some I have spoken to are already feeling the pinch since the VSTS announcement.

    I’m guessing developer tools vendors would be extremely nervous right now, a lot depends on the pricing of VSTS and it not being included in MSDN. Don’t get me wrong, VSTS is an exciting prospect but I would rather not have it if it destroys the developer tools market and discourages innovation from other vendors(in areas like version control, automated builds, testing, bug tracking, requirements etc).

  11. Developers! Developers! Developers! I guess what he meant was ‘Let’s get more money out of the Developers!’

    With so much of our work and income going to India et al, I guess MS wants to try one last time to fleece the Domestic devlopers before the off-shore sources get the rest of the market. Gee, MS how many Universal lics have been sold to India?

  12. Oren Novotny says:

    I’ve posted about this in the newsgroups, but it’s worth repeating so I’ll post again here.

    The pricing of these tools should be flexible enough to allow for non-profit development. This applies whether I’m a 503(c) organization or whether I’m hosting an open-source project.

    If I’m not making any money off of the development of the software, I can’t afford to sink large amounts of money into VSTS-type products. That does not mean that I don’t need them though; VSS does not work well with my distributed environment, I need a source control system that does work. I’ve already paid through the nose for a Universal subscription and I don’t expect to have to pay even more for dev tools.

    I know about the newly announced Express editions, but they don’t suffice for my needs. Maybe there can be a "non-profit use" edition of MSDN where non-profit organizations can get a price break?

  13. I’m sorry, but the pricing that’s being proposed effectively rules out VSTS completely in my company. We struggled for 2 years to get authorisation for individual MSDN Professional Licences, let alone Universal or anything higher.

    That’s a shame, as SourceSafe isn’t working for us, and as a result you’re getting a reputation for producing unreliable products here. Not good.

    If you really want to make a difference, at least make Hatteras available to Enterprise (?) subscribers, and the full suite in Universal. Even better – include Hatteras as a standalone product in Professional…

  14. Buck Hodges says:

    Pricing is an important topic, and I’ve written several posts about it.  Today Rick LaPlante…

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