Monday, March 30, 2009

Visual Studio 2008 Product Comparison

The Visual Studio product page appears to have no comparison chart that spans all product editions. This is quite an omission for a product line that costs anywhere from $0 (for the Express editions) to $10939 (for Team Suite with an MSDN subscription). A range I would also describe as going from "outrageously amazing" to "poking developers in the eyes with toothpicks". If you dig around for a while, there is at least a price comparison chart on the site. However, you have to venture further afield for a clear feature comparison chart on the general Microsoft download site.

One price step that interests me is between Professional and Team System Developer. These are likely to be the two editions most commonly compared by price conscious code shops. If you use Team Foundation Server, you will need to add a Client Access License to Professional, which takes the total to $800 + $500 = $1300. Feature wise Developer edition gives you:

  • Code Profiling
  • Code Analysis (including check-in policies and spell checking)
  • Code Coverage

With Developer you are also required to buy MSDN Premium, so the total cost is $5469. Professional + CAL + MSDN Premium is $2500. So you have to ask yourself if MSDN Premium is worth it, and if the extra Developer features are then worth doubling your investment.

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