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Niner since 2005


  • Rick Laplante - Talking about Visual Studio Team System (Licensing), Part II

    I just love the way Micro$oft Does Not Listen to it's developers. Is this something you're taught by SteveB or do they only hire people with this wonderful quality? Let's try this again:

    1) I'm not talking about the optional Team Server install -- I'm talking about getting all of the Architect, Developer, and Tester bits my larger competition will get without having to pay thousands of dollars extra for my subscription. Duh.

    2) MSDN Universal (you can say Universal and understand it's meaning right?) means getting all of the bits for development -- not all of the bits we had in 2004 or in 2003. When Microsoft added OneNote it was added to MSDN Universal without having to pay extra. When Microsoft bought Visio or Great Plains, it was added to MSDN Universal without having to pay extra. This has been the history with MSDN Universal. Microsoft, stop acting so g*d damn dense -- this is the expectation you've created by your past actions and now trying to significantly alter how you treat your small developers is what is causing all of this friction.

    3) Granted this last point is more opinion than fact, but I'm faced with this reality every month in my business. Your competition is not the companies charging thousands of dollars more -- they are already dead without realizing it. (How many smart businesses are still rolling out new Unix servers?) Your competition is Google, and Salesforce.com, and thousands of developers who work for free. And just like IBM lost the personal computer market by stubbornly refusing to understand the problem, you're loosing the desktop and the internet server markets with your actions.

    Micro$oft, your small, independent developers are why you were successful in the past and your canaries in the coalmine for the future. We don't want to become experts in Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, but keep ignoring us and your other customers, and we'll be forced onto that path to survive.

  • Rick Laplante - Talking about Visual Studio Team System (Licensing), Part II

    After talking to other small development shops (1 to 3 developers) and consultants, I think Micro$oft is still not hearing the message from MSDN Universal subscribers such as myself. (I won't attempt to speak for larger shops or their perspective.) 

    1) We don't care about the Team System server component. I'm a single developer and occasionally out-source a few small pieces of code. VSS is good enough. But I do want the Architect, the Developer, and the Tester tools. If you ship a new MSDN Universal, with the added Architect, the Developer, and the Tester tools for a few hundred dollars more than I am currently paying (since these component do represent some added value to me), I would be satisfied. If these products only work when there is a Team Server component present, limit the server to five users and only a single simultaneous connection.

    2) MSDN Universal means I have a legal license for development for all current Microsoft products. I've barely looked at Visio, OneNote, Project, Great Plains Accounting, SharePoint Server, etc. etc., but having a MSDN Universal subscription means that I can bid on development work for these products (and compete based on talent) against the largest shops, rather than limiting my market to only writing SQL sprocs and Word plug-ins. This is what MSDN Universal means to the small developer. This is why we are so upset when Microsoft is trying to change the rules and give large development shops all of the tools and limit small shops to a few. Do you really think single developers don't want to properly architect and test their applications and web services? Microsoft seems to be in denial about this perception of a universal MSDN (and trying to get rid of the name MSDN Universal did not help). The vast majority of MSDN Universal bits shipped to small developers are never used, but we value that they are available to us if we need them to win a project. 

    3) I keep hearing $10,000 and $50,000 dollars in this video. Newsflash: My clients are starting to switch their server from Windows NT & 2000 to Linux, which is free. The tools to develop on these platforms are getting better every month and are free. There is a huge and rapidly growing support network of developers and the development information (fueled by India, China, Brazil, England, etc.) which is free. We (by which I mean small development shops and Microsoft) are competing against this free infra-structure, which is gaining market share every month. Whether Microsoft likes it or not, if they wish to maintain any fraction of their market share (which was fueled by independent developers and consultants such as myself, not by large shops), they are going to have to help underwrite the cost of the development tools for their platform to some extent. I'm already $3000 behind every year in making a profit versus my growing free open-source competition (and my clients keep asking me if they can save money on their server and product licensing fees). The geek in me is exited about a lot of the new tools Microsoft has coming this year and next year, but the accountant in me...
  • Paul Vick and Erik Meijer - Dynamic Programming in Visual Basic

    Please, do not allow the person who conducted this interview to ever interview anyone again. Never. Thank you.