Friday, June 01, 2007

Dan Fernandez's Blog : Visual Studio Express and TestDriven.NET

When a company gets this kind of comments from it most ardent supporters... what can you conclude about their prospects?...
As much as I like MS and the toolsets, it bothers me to see that you truly do not understand the common development community.

Come on. The reason that you have removed extensibility from VS Express is not because you want it to be as simple as possible but is because you do not want it to become more powerful than the "free" version that it is now. "Be limited and always remain so". At least acknowledge it.

If MS doesn't want their slimmed down version of VS to support any add-ins or extensions, then they should be clever enough to code their software that way. This is another example of how MS has a weak team of developers and a strong team of lawyers.

I hope I can switch to something else (maybe Java), because Microsoft disgusts me. I know that Eclipse is free, but I guess you Dan, don't understand the "ethos" of that?

This can only backfire on Microsoft along the lines of examples like Mike Rowe's software and the Russian teacher. If VS Express shouldn't be extended then Microsoft should have taken technological steps to ensure that it can't reasonably be extended.

I have an interview with Microsoft coming up (I'm a recent computer science graduate.) This is the kind of behavior that will probably keep me from accepting a job with them.

and on and on and on!


  1. Just came across your post. A lot has transpired in the last 48 hours. Thing is that Jamie Cansdale and TestDriven was making a bunch of stories up. Go check out or the Intel blog for more details. Once he code became public this weekend he was found out.

  2. For what it's worth, I don't care if Microsoft charges for this product or not, and I don't care if someone who builds an add-on charges for that or not. I advocate open source (free as in free speech) because I' have seen the amazing results achieved by it. I'm not against proprietary software in general, but having been burned many many times, I'm very leery of using it when I don't have to (and I find these days that I rarely have to).

    What irks me about the Microsoft approach (and there is nothing new about it nor did Microsoft invent it) is the bait and switch aspects of it: Here is something for free. Get started using it and when you run into a roadblock, send us money and we'll send you the full version.

    Furthermore, every product developed with either version of this software drives people to use Windows. As far as I know you can't develop Linux software with it right? Like so much of what MS does, this is "Gateway drug" technology. Get 'em hook in the grade school schoolyard and by the time they get to high school they'll be robbing grannies to buy the hard stuff.

    If MS REALLY believed in this product there would be no free version. 90-day free trial, sure, but if you are going to develop software with it, you pay. They can add to the license that you have to do all your work standing on your head for all I care, because I'd just as soon people not get hooked using this stuff. There are open source tools that can be used to develop cross-platform applications, there are web development tools that take the Operating System out of the equation (of course the MS web development tools mysteriously only produce IE compatible pages).

    I like using Linux, and I like using OS X and maybe one day I'll like using Windows again, but it will be due to Windows merits (security, stability, and yes, price) not because a herd of sycophants with MSDN and MCSE certificates (been there done that) are only developing for the one platform.

    What was noteworthy to me on this story was not the factual details that you alluded to (some of which are still in question it appears) but the fact that on one of Microsoft's own developer's blogs there would be so little support for the company, even among what would normally be a loyal developer base. Looks to me like a lot of people are bailing out on the MS lock-in paradigm.

    And I'm thrilled!