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Microsoft not happy with tools add-on

The software maker has a testy back and forth with a software maker that has created a utility that interacts with the free version of Visual Studio.

Microsoft loves developers, just ask CEO Steve Ballmer. But while the company has been making some of its tools available for free, it also likes to draw the line on just how much gets given away.

According to a report in The Register, the software company has taken an aversion to TestDriven.Net, an add-on to its Visual Studio developer tools. In particular, Microsoft doesn't like the fact that the software works with Visual Studio Express, the free version of the tools. E-mail exchanges between Microsoft and the small, U.K.-based software maker have gotten increasingly testy, having reached the "cease and desist" letter stage.

The dispute seems to center on the fact that TestDriven works with Express, rather than just with the paid versions of Visual Studio. According to the e-mails, Microsoft has given TestDriven's creators until Wednesday to remove that feature from its product.