Thursday, April 20, 2006

Microsoft is giving away the store

Free this, free that, Microsoft is giving its software away for free! Not all of it, but a lot of the fun stuff, that's for sure.

The latest one is Visual Studio Express. It was actually free for download previously, but there was a $50 price tag that would be invoked a few months down the line. That sword is no longer dangling over the heads of the casual VSexpress programmer.

Will they start making express versions of all their products? Will they release their non-mainline products as free? We can only hope.

Dear Microsoft,

Please release Platform Builder for free without the 180 day time limit.

Sincerely,

Lauren

2 Comments:

Blogger Jim Glass MSFT said...

As a Microsoftie, I see the express phenominon as a better than free experience. That is IF the user finds that using express will introduce them to a fine product that will actually save them time, money, and effort in the near future. It's a win, win for everyone.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Lauren Smith said...

The only pitfall I can gather is that the Express version is sufficient for user needs and Microsoft sees no revenue from that user upgrading to the full-fledge version.

Of course, gaining mindshare may be the ultimate goal here. If anything's propelled Windows into the front and center more than anything else, it's the wide availability of the developer tools which make programming for the system fast and pleasant. Get the devs, and the programs will follow, and the users will follow after that.

7:51 AM  

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