Sunday, June 3, 2007

The high cost of Visual Studio Express edition

I have been reading Leon Bambrick's post about the Microsoft vs. TestDriven.Net (for "hacking" the express edition in order to allow this addin, which is forbidden according to MS) when I encountered this:
"But is Jamie in the wrong? Of course he is. It's Microsoft's product -- if they say you can't work around limitations, then good for them. And they can pick and choose what limitations they mean. When you're using their product, you're a guest. You leave when you're asked."

Imagine Intel forbidding manufacturers to sell fans that allow overclocking, or Ford going after makers of car kits, or Microsoft trying to shut down every site with registry modification guidelines (it's the registry of their windows system, after all).
Once I get a product into my home, I like to think it's mine to do whatever I like with it.
I don't like being a guest on my own computer.

I doubt if Microsoft would have done the same for commercial product, meaning the reason they allow themselves to issue those demands is that the express product is free.
Sounds to me like the cost of "free" is rather high....

Update: Microsoft is singing a different tune today.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Adi

Just to clarify -- i very much agree that microsoft shouldn't do this. But i think they have clear legal permission to do so.

As customers we can complain by shifting to competitor's products -- that's a protest, that will be very effective.

But fighting them with lawyers is not a valid response, as I think we'd lose money and lose the case.

Technically you don't own *any* of the commercial software on your computer. It's licensed to you, for you to use, provided you abide by the terms you agreed to when you installed it. Strange but true!

cheers
lb

Anonymous said...

Quote:
"Technically you don't own *any* of the commercial software on your computer. It's licensed to you, for you to use, provided you abide by the terms you agreed to when you installed it. Strange but true!"

Yes, that's true. But if they say that Windows is spyware immune, it should be so.
If they say that add-ins are disabled, it should be so. If they aren't it's their "hack" or as I would say a BIG BUG in their source code. They just try to cover their ass with legal case. They won't admit that it's a BUG.
Even if Micro$oft wins it would be a bitter victory. More and more developers will cease to use M$ spy(soft)ware if such actions are taken.
arivaldh(at)wp.pl

Adi said...

Leon, I know it's true, I just don't like it :)
arivaldh, sadly people will keep using those products, because it's what they know. Microsoft needs to do something far worse to repel them.

Schandwick said...

Although I've never written a Visual Studio add-in before the source code on Jamie's site looked pretty obvious to me that it hacks around the limitations MS put into place and doesn't use the add-in API's like Jamie says so I don't understand the premise here. MS would have gone after any hacks even on comercial products.

Go read this.
http://keznews.com/1951_Permanently_Activate_Windows_Vista_by_Skip_Activation_with_Patched_TimerStop_sys_Crack

I don't see this hack on commercial software as any different.

Agree with lb that technically we don't any of the MS software and all of these hacks fall into the same category.