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Microsoft to Cut Visual Studio Prices for 2005 Versions

Microsoft this week unveiled pricing for its Visual Studio 2005 family of integrated development environment products.

The pricing announcements normally come at the release to manufacturing stage, which appears to be at least several months away. Early pricing was also announced last month for SQL Server 2005, which should be available at about the same time as Visual Studio 2005.

Microsoft says the new prices are reduced from Visual Studio .NET 2003 prices, and also opened promotions for MSDN subscriptions, the primary way most developers buy access to the Visual Studio toolset.

The estimated retail pricing for Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition and Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System will be $800 or $550 for an upgrade. A Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition will retail for $300 and be available as an upgrade for $200. A new Express Edition, primarily for novice developers, will cost $50.

The key new addition to Visual Studio in the 2005 generation is the Visual Studio Team System, designed to support the application development lifecycle from development to deployment. The Team System will consist of three Team Editions, one each for Software Developers, Software Architects and Software Testers. Volume licenses for the Team System start at $3,191, including Software Assurance.

In advance of the availability of Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft is introducing an immediate pricing promotion for MSDN subscriptions, which will allow for an upgrade to various Visual Studio components, assuming the MSDN subscriptions don't expire before Visual Studio 2005 ships. The MSDN Universal subscription will be $2,500 new or $2,000 for an upgrade and include access to any one of the three Team System editions. An MSDN Enterprise subscription will cost $2,200 or $1,600 for an upgrade and include access to the Team Edition for Software Developers.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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