Team System Pricing & Licensing

The big news for Team System today is the announcement of the much-awaited pricing and licensing details. Adding the Express and Team Editions to the Visual Studio product line includes a restructuring of MSDN subscription options. One surprise is that the pricing for Visual Studio Professional Edition is actually going down.

Microsoft Details Pricing and Licensing for Visual Studio 2005 and Simplifies Microsoft Developer Network Subscriptions

“Microsoft Corp. today detailed pricing and licensing terms for Visual Studio® 2005, its comprehensive application development tool set, as well as simplification of its Microsoft® Developer Network (MSDN®) subscriptions, the primary vehicle through which most developers obtain Visual Studio. Microsoft will reduce the estimated retail price1 of Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition while offering special pricing to existing MSDN subscribers for Visual Studio 2005 Team System, the expansion of the Visual Studio product line to include integrated software life-cycle tools. In addition, current Visual Studio users will be eligible for promotional pricing to acquire MSDN subscriptions now, in preparation for Visual Studio 2005, expected in the second half of calendar year 2005. This will enable more developers to take advantage of the productivity, security enhancements and improved deployment capabilities of the .NET Framework.”

1 Pricing given is estimated retail pricing; reseller prices may vary. All prices given are in U.S. dollars.

“With the addition of Visual Studio Team System, Microsoft expands the definition and audience reach of the Visual Studio product line beyond developers to development teams, adding new tools for project managers, software testers, infrastructure and software architects, and IT business decision-makers. The Team System also offers new advanced features for software developers. With tightly integrated application design, development and quality tools, as well as a customizable software process methodology, Team System offers development teams the tools and processes that will help them increase the predictability of successful projects, gain greater organizational efficiency and lower overall development costs. Visual Studio Team System's role-based product line includes Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Architects, Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Developers and Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Testers. Also included in Visual Studio Team System is the Visual Studio Team Suite, which contains all three role-based products, and the new Visual Studio Team Foundation Server for more efficient team collaboration.”

Did you catch the new names?

  • Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite (includes all 3 role-based products below)
    • Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects
    • Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers
    • Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Testers
  • Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server
  • Visual Studio 2005 Team Test Load Agent (not mentioned, but FYI)

Are you an MSDN Universal Subscriber?

“Existing MSDN Universal subscribers can enjoy a seamless transition to Visual Studio 2005 Team System and automatically receive a no-cost upgrade to one of the role-based subscription products for each active subscription license they own at the time of product availability. Special upgrade pricing to the Team Suite also will be available. Active subscribers may elect to renew their subscription and preserve their existing pricing for future renewals, if they choose; customers without subscriptions, or customers whose subscriptions have lapsed at the time of product availability, will not receive these special pricing offers.”

S. "Soma" Somasegar, Developer Division VP, has a related Q&A:

Q&A: Early Look at Pricing, Licensing for Visual Studio 2005, Simplified MSDN Subscriptions

PressPass: How do you anticipate that Visual Studio Team System will help companies save money?

Somasegar: We think organizations that adopt Visual Studio Team System will see tremendous benefits not only in the ways in which their teams work together to deliver software, but also in their bottom line. Specifically, we see a number of areas where we expect this will be the case, including lower installation costs, lower operational and management costs, greater team efficiency ad productivity and more. Of course, we anticipate that our load-testing tools will also be much more cost effective than what's on the market today.

In addition, we will ship at least two comprehensive process methodologies with the product. By aligning your company around either one of the methodologies we will include in the product or on a methodology you create yourself, we believe you will see immediate and tangible results in overall team productivity and project predictability. This, in turn, should result in a bottom-line savings for most companies.

UPDATE 50321.1252

I forgot to include a link to this page: MSDN Subscriptions Road to Visual Studio 2005. If you’re an MSDN Subscriber, or you’re thinking of becoming one, this page will help you understand how to take advantage of a limited time offer to get Visual Studio 2005 at no additional cost.

UPDATE 50322.1126

Another important link – the FAQ.

UPDATE 50322.1347

If you’re interested in pricing, see this page: How to Buy Microsoft Developer Products. Team Foundation Server pricing was left off, but it should be fixed in just a bit.

Comments (28)

  1. Come on, get it released! ;o)

  2. Ian Ringrose says:

    What will be included in “Partner Program”?

    What will be included in “Microsoft Empower for ISVs“?

    Will any of this be included in the “Action Pack”?

    I ask because we are a ISV and in the process of looking for a load testing tool, if we can get the “Test Edition” free of charge (or cheep) it becomes a option that we may be able to wait for.

    Ian Ringose

    Email: Ian at Ringrose dot name

  3. Don says:

    Are Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server licenses included with the role-based licenses (if we choose the MSDN Universal upgrade path, are we good to go or do we still have to purchase a server license?)


  4. Rob Caron says:

    Partner Program details are coming later. I’m sorrry, but I don’t know anything about Microsoft Empower for ISVs or Action Packs. A Team Foundation Server license is not included in any of the MSDN subscriptions; it’ll be available separately. Each of the role-based products will include a Client Access License (CAL) for accessing Team Foundation Server.

  5. Rob Caron says:

    Okay – I found this on Microsoft Empower for ISVs ( However, I don’t know how this program is impacted by the changes announced today.

  6. Don says:

    Your pricing announcement has just resulted in it’s first sale!

    I’ve been waiting excitedly for VSTS ever since I saw a midnight demo following a Geek dinner here in Redmond.

    So what did I buy? I just bought a copy of the FogBugz defect tracking software (no joke, the order confirmation number is in my Outlook inbox as I write this).

    It’s clear that the VSTS group has not listened to anything that the small developer community has been saying over and over for the past year. It’s clear that you fundamentally don’t get it, and it’s clear that you aren’t going to get it for this release.

    VSTS isn’t a great product because it has "Team" in the name. It’s a great product because it has integrated source control, defect tracking, test harnesses, and build management functionality. THAT’s what we want. You seem to have become so focused on the "Team" marketing spin that you’ve forgotten that professional developers are everywhere, not just in large organizations with hundreds of developers.

    I already spend thousands of dollars a year on MSDN Universal subscriptions. Now you’re trying to tell me that (1) after the special offer expires, MSDN Universal won’t be enough to get a VSTS license and (2) even if I do have a VSTS license through my MSDN Universal subscription I wont actually be able to use it because I have to buy a separate server license that isn’t covered by MSDN and which presumably costs thousand of dollars and (3) assuming I do spend thousands of extra dollars on top of my MSDN subscriptions for a server license, my small team of developers STILL can’t really use VSTS because I have to choose in advance whether to assign each developer an architect OR developer OR tester role, with no ability to juggle roles as actually happens on small teams.

    You just don’t get it. You got all the features right on your product but you blew everything else about it.

    I don’t need "Team" functionality. I need professional developer functionality. Screw the team functionality and a pox on any future Visual Studio products with "Team" in their names, too. You’ve lost sight of the product and become a victim of your own marketing drive.

    And I’m not the only person who feels this way. Check out the feedback you’re getting on MSDN

    When your customers keep saying the same thing over and over, don’t clap your hands together and say "look how excited they are about this! we can bleed them dry with our pricing scheme!" Instead, LISTEN to what your customers keep saying over and over. I’ve been hearing the same exact things being said ever since that first Geek dinner demo.


  7. Team System Pricing, Licensing and New Names Announced

  8. Philip Rieck says:

    I buy a universal out of my pocket to be able to service my clients. Because I fill multiple roles, I must now spend $8,000/year more in order to have the tools that I will recommend to my clients.

    Or, I could recommend to my clients that they use other products, and put the $8,000/year into my kids’ college funds. Then actively and loudly speak out about why this move was to make a company already percieved by many as a rich giant slightly richer in the short-term, while punishing and taking advantage of its "partners" — and ultimately losing out on *free* marketing, training, and salespeople

    Which should I choose?

  9. Adam Hill says:

    MS has totally lost sight of the small developer that has evangelized their product for years.

    I will have to pay 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS for VSTS System and a seat for each ‘kind’ of role it provides. (Still unclear if I need a server license)

    OK, so I cant afford MS’s price for all the cool source control and team functions to let my clients see/contribute to my development processes. I can still dev, test deploy apps with a Premium Subscription, one would think.. right? Nope.

    The feature set of each role in TS seem not to overlap much. I can develop, test OR deploy. For MSDN we need a combined version minus the Team components. Single devs have a software lifecycle too guys.

    I hope Soma is listening.

  10. Halo_Four says:

    I’ve been a professional developer using Microsoft products for six years now, using Visual Basic 5.0, 6.0 and now C#. I work for a small software business based in Florida with 10 developers of varying levels of experience. We currently are managing to stay in the black, but not by any serious margin.

    I’m afraid I agree with the other posters here. Someone at Microsoft just completely forgot that the VAST majority of software companies out there are MUCH smaller than they are. Our 10 people must wear different hats all of the time. We simply don’t have the luxury of delineating responsibilities out to the point where developer X will only be a tester and developer Y will only be an architect. We remain successful, barely, by being flexible.

    Microsoft has completely and totally missed the target audience of their product with this pricing. Small software firms, small to medium sized non-software companies and consultants simply will not be able to justify these costs. The only company that this product and pricing targets are large enough to simply not require it because they are your competitors.

  11. Eric Bowen says:

    Actually the price of MSDN Universal is going up dramatically: to almost $13,000 dollars!

    Well techically there will be new product named "MSDN Universal" that is cheaper, but it only includes a handicapped subset of the complete Visual Studio 2005 product family.

    If you want to all the Visual Studio 2005 tools you need to purchase "Team Suite" instead of "Universal" plus the new "Team Foundation Server", be prepared to write a check for $11,000 more than you payed for MSDN Universal last year…

  12. David says:

    Concur fully with Dori, but would add that it is the same in big companies. People with an ‘architect’ title aren’t in an ivory tower. We are in the trenches. We are the ones who show people how do to do testing, profiling, code analysis.

    On top of that, the tools in the architect version are the most marginal of all.

    Add to that is a lack of backward support for legacy VB/C#/ASP 1.0 and pre-.Net applications, no integration with a real modeling tool (one that models behavior)…this whole product may be a non-started.

    The ivory tower here may have been Microsoft marketing that seems divorced from real development.

  13. David says:

    Here goes:

    MSDN Universal/Premium should include Team Foundation server and a ‘universal’ version of Visual Studio with all of the features. However, it only includes the one seat license.

    Professional Edition MSDN includes the seat license but not the Team Foundation Server and one Visual Studio ‘developer’ edition.

    Other purchases outside MSDN require a seat license purchase to use Team Foundation.

    The testing version is sold with a seat license for a price much lower than the developer version.

    An analyst version, with basically Visio/UML and respostiory access is even less expensive. Maybe $100-200 with the seat license.

    Are the net prices a little lower? Yes. However, revenue prospects would be higher. The current configuration leaves the door wide open for third party tools instead of Team Foundation.

  14. David M. says:

    The full Visual Studio client will now cost $11,000? And that doesn’t include the team server?

    This feels like Microsoft is trying to squeeze developers. That sure doesn’t make business sense, as we build products that run on Microsoft products and require Microsoft licenses. Having excellent, reasonably priced developer tools seems the best long-term prospect for success for Microsoft.

    Maybe large teams might be able to stomach the new pricing.

    That’s too bad, though. I was looking forward to using the new features in the VS 2005 system.

  15. John G. says:

    Don’t know if this has been discussed but:

    For a small user who wants to transition to Team System – Developer Edition, it does not pay to get a Universal Subscription. It would make sense to get an Enterprise one instead. Both wind up getting the same deal, i.e. Team System Developer + MSDN Premium.

    When I first noticed this, my reaction was "huh?". But if you read carefully (and I spoke to MSDN reps today and had it confirmed), a Universal subscriber is better off downgrading a renewal unless he wants the Architect or Tester version. Otherwise he is wasting his money.

    I was also told that a subscription must be in place before August 1 for the transition. That is the date for the product launch.

  16. Joe says:

    Have to say I’m very disappointed in how MS has handled this situation. The small developer groups are the ones that will cause the most noise and tend to be doing the most innovative development.

    To make it harder to figure out what you are buying, what you need is a huge mistake. I have no doubt that these tools are great, MS was always someone to cater well to developers, but a road block has been raised.

    Many developers used to love MS and how they treated them, provided good tools for a good price, provided fairly good documentation, etc.

    But the landscape has changed and this is a huge step backwards from a PR standpoint. MS cannot afford to loose developers in light of open source’s continual and ever more successful push forward. Developers are the last people they want to be pushing away.

  17. Joe says:

    I think one of my biggest concerns and issues so far is that nothing is TRULY clear. If these are enterprise systems with a bunch of differnet roles, how much is the server, how much is it for my project manager to hook in and what is the ‘edition’ they get, etc.

    Just give us a concise breakdown of ALL the roles, what the tool is they use and how much it costs and what to expect to REALLY need for everyone to work together.

    Personally I think MS made a huge PR mistake in how they introduced this. Couple this with how Universal isn’t universal and how they have said the Team System is for 5 or more members, and this is a HUGE mistake.

    Finally, let’s take a look at the yearly costs … they are HUGE .. and if MS doesn’t upgrade the tools within a reasonable time frame the investment in the tools is not starting to look so good. Other tool vendors have a year cost (which includes patches and upgrades) at 15% to 20% of the cost … but rack here is 50%, and I’m not guaranteed to get anything new (even a patch … where is VS.NET 2003 SP1).

    As a person managing 8 developers all with Universal subscriptions I am left confused. Couple that with my need to use other non-MS tech (Eclipse worst extremely well for Java) for jobs, I’m left to wonder what kind of investment I’m really being asked to make.

  18. John Luo says:

    I am not sure Enterprise Subscription and Universal Subscription are exactly the same after the transition. We may not be able to get the Microsoft Productivity Applications, like MS Office… by subscribing Enterprise edition.

  19. Whatever TFS ends up costing, the total package won’t be priced to compete with FogBugz, it’ll be priced to compete with Rational. If anyone reading this has an idea of what Rational costs for a 4-person team (PM, Architect, Dev, Tester), that would be helpful.

    This is as close to an equivalent as I can find, but I’m sure it’s not the whole story: (link goes to IBM’s Rational Bundle, which contains a link to pricing):

    As for leaving VSTS out of MSDN, I’m torn about what’s reasonable to expect. It’s new, they want to protect it against folks who buy a single MSDN license to install apps for a dozen devs, I would too. So what do you do — make VSTS an activated product and allow 2-4 activations per MSDN sub? I could live with that.

  20. I’ve just returned from an epic journey, to find the answers to my questions on the MSDN pricing changes…

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