Microsoft delays tool, database updates

The software maker says new versions of Visual Studio and SQL Server won't debut until later this year.

Microsoft said new versions of its Visual Studio development tools and SQL Server database, expected this summer, have been delayed until later this year.

The software maker said Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 will be delivered in the second half of the year. A company representative declined to say whether the company expects to ship the new software in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Both products have been delayed previously. Microsoft delayed the expected release of its flagship database and development tools from the end of 2004 to the first half of 2005. Both products, which are used to build custom applications, will be shipped in tandem.

On Monday, the company revamped the product pricing scheme and developer subscription service for Visual Studio 2005. The changes are meant to simplify the purchase process and make the cost of the company's tools suites easier to compare to competitive products, said Prashant Sridharan, lead product manager in Microsoft's developer division.

With the release of Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft will introduce a significant addition to its line-up which will bring the company is direct competition with IBM , Borland and others for tool suites designed for building large and complicated business applications. These so-called lifecycle tools address different phases of the application development process, including up-front modeling, coding, testing and deployment of a program.

In the second of half of the year, Microsoft will introduce Visual Studio Team System , its entry into the lifecycle development tools arena. The product will have three client editions aimed at different job functions?architect, developer, and tester?as well as an optional server component for managing source code and collaborating with other programmers.

Pricing for volume licenses starts at $3,191 per seat.

On the low end, Microsoft will be introducing a new product called Visual Studio 2005 Express , a simplified tool aimed at hobbyists, students and first-time developers. The list price will be $49. Microsoft is planning several promotional programs as well to lower the cost, said Sridharan.

The rest of the Visual Studio line up includes: Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition, which will cost $299; Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition for $799; and Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Microsoft Office System for $799.

With the release of these tools, Microsoft will introduce new MSDN subscription options. The changes are aimed at allowing smaller companies to buy one of Microsoft's low-end Visual Studio products in conjunction with a lower-cost developer subscription service, Sridharan said.

Customers can purchase Visual Studio 2005 Premium Edition with either a Premium subscription, priced at $2,499, or a Professional subscription for $1,199. Microsoft is also offering upgrade offers to current customers.

 

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