As anyone in our industry can attest to, Microsoft licensing is very confusing. Over the last few years working with product licensing I’ve heard from many customers about the difficulty of properly licensing their Microsoft environment. The common theme I’ve heard is each passing year Microsoft manages to somehow make licensing more difficult and confusing.
But… there’s good news on the way. Visual Studio 2010 licensing is changing for the better (I promise). Visual Studio 2008 was one of the harder licensing schemes to understand. With eight different versions Team Suite, Development, Architect, Database, Test edition, Vstudio Pro with MSDN Premium, Vstudio Pro with MSDN professional, and Visual Studio Standard edition it was very difficult to understand exactly what you needed and how you would license your developer team. 2010 has consolidated those eight versions into four (Visual Studio Ultimate, Premium, Pro & Visual Studio Test Professional 2010).
How does this affect you? First of all, it allows you to manage your Visual Studio projects a lot easier. Now you only have four versions to choose from, all with distinct feature sets. Second, if you currently own Visual Studio in your environment with active MSDN on any Team roles (Suite, Development, Architect, Database) you’ll be entitled to the current version of Visual Studio Ultimate. This is very important as Microsoft is essentially giving you the higher version until your MSDN renewal comes up. When you’re renewal does come up you’ll have to make the decision of renewing that product as Ultimate or step down and renew as Visual Studio Premium.
Here are a couple good charts that will help you with the 2010 migration:
The link below will show you the MSDN Subscriptions comparison chart for 2008 so you can use it as a reference guide to what you currently own.
The link below will show you the MSDN Subscriptions comparison chart for 2010. This will show you the consolidated versions of 2010.
The link below will help you understand the transition path from VS 2008 to VS 2010.
– Greg Zamzow, Microsoft Sales Specialist Northeast