DVDs or CDs?


One of the questions that came up when talking about delivering Whidbey builds more frequently is distribution medium.  DVDs are a lot more convenient for everyone (and cheaper for us).  Suppose we made these DVD only?  I imagine at certain quality milestones – e.g. an official beta – we’d make cd’s available too.  But for an interim build, would not having CDs block many people?  I’m sure we’ll find some data somewhere but I’m curious what people think. 


Comments (19)

  1. Phil Scott says:

    I can’t fathom that someone in the position to beta test Whibdey would not have access to a DVD drive.

    Perhaps the guy who’s been tagged to beta test it on the really ghetto machine to make sure it runs on a K6-2 450 w/ 64mb of ram.

  2. Jim Bolla says:

    Make it a DVD but partition the data on the DVD into CD sized chunks so at the very worst, the person with the DVD can burn it onto CDs. Also the install should accomodate this so if it is indeed from the CDs the install doesn’t croak.

  3. nathan says:

    I have a nice machine, but I don’t have a DVD drive. Jim’s idea is good – I could take the DVD and burn CD’s on my home computer, then use those at work.

  4. Rob Gibbens says:

    Or at least allow it to be installed over the network, hosted on a machine with a DVD drive. Slow, but better than nothing.

  5. Darrell says:

    If the DVD-only option means more frequent distribution of whatever product, then yes it is fine to do. Otherwise no.

    I have a DVD drive, but am sensitive to those that may not and who have better things to do with their money than upgrade laptops or desktops.

  6. moo says:

    DVD , MSDN is already on DVD.

    I dont buy CD products anymore. At the consumer level, If I see a game that is CD , I chose to download it instead. They lose.

  7. Brian Keller says:

    I did some research on this for the DevDays Attendee DVD I just produced. I found that approx. 50% of MSDN Subscribers elect to get DVD’s (CD is still an option and we’re trying to get more people onto DVD if they want it, since it significantly reduces the size of the shipment as you could guess!). Also it turns out that DVD usage is a bit higher in APAC.

    So the net net of my research was that people should have access to a DVD drive, even if they have to share the drive over the network. Providing easy CD burning instructions (and a license to make one set, for example) would be clutch.

    Shameless plug: The DevDays DVD rocks, if I do say so myself, so if you are going to DevDays let me know what you think of the attendee DVD! Not just another "bag stuffer" 🙂

  8. George Chernyha says:

    I think it’s premature to assume that most developers have DVD players. I work for a major financial services company and developers get the same workstations as our customer service people do. There are a few laptops around with DVD players, but that’s it. Call me selfish, but I don’t want to turn my laptop into a DVD server.

  9. DVD’s are fine, downloads are better.

  10. I agree with Michael. Downloads are best. I like 1 DVD better than 3 CDs but now that I find myself without my main machine, a DVD-ROM is totally useless until I get the machine back from the mobo/cpu swap.

  11. I say DVDs over CD any day. It’s more affordable in time and energy for the installing developer (Start it and walk away) If a developer’s office provided machine doesn’t have the equipment to run a beta on DVD, it’s probably not meant to be running a beta anyway. (Go out an buy Rapid Development or some other book that stresses that developers should get really good machines) Also, DVD-ROM drives are relatively inexpensive, so it’s a second option to just purchase a drive.

    As far as downloads go, yes, downloads are even better. And this is one time where a good P2P program would be useful. If a good, secure P2P program could be utilized, you could quickly get the program distributed. MS as the main node, and other machines to share as able.

  12. Jack Mayhoff [MSFT] says:

    We’re gona get Whibdey from DirectConnect or Gnutella anyway so why bother 😀

    Let the low lifes sit with theyre CD format while the rest of us move on.

  13. Good DVD drives are $35. Regardless of how we deliver Visual Studio, you might decide to buy a drive anyway. For my HTPC, I got a Lite-On from newegg.com, for example.

  14. Jose Simon says:

    DVD and Download from Betaplace.

  15. Ian Ringrose says:

    Could the builds be provided as preinstalled virtual PC images? This would make setup times a lot quicker and avoid the risk, of someone installing it on there main PC and messing it up.

    Given how cheep USB DVD readers are and the fact the use PC have USB these days, just go for DVD. Anyone that wants the builds will buy a DVD reader if needed.

  16. Joseph says:

    I downloaded Visual Studio Enterprise Architect Edition 2005 (Whidbey) from MSDN and burned it to DVD. When I try to install- all components install except Visual Studio. A message pops up:Please insert: Visual Studio Enterprise Architect Edition 2005 – English Disk 1.I cannot continue with the installation and must exit the install. Does anyone have ideas to bypass this error? Any help is appreciated!