It's always been possible to score major discounts on Microsoft software by providing hard evidence of academic affiliation for everything from operating systems to productivity suites to development tools. But since the beginning of 2009, and with Visual Studio 2010 looming on the horizon, Microsoft has been offering what can only be described as fire sale pricing on its various Visual Studio components.
Microsoft has slashed prices on most of its Visual Studio products. Here's what you will pay for the following Visual Studio products at present:
- Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition upgrade for about $170. You can upgrade from any integrated development environment (IDE) to this package, even from Microsoft's own free Express Edition products, like Visual Studio Express, Web Expression and non-Microsoft IDEs like Eclipse. Full retail is about $260, and academic pricing is usually around $130. Be sure to shop around for best prices online to maximize your return on spending.
- Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition upgrade for about $475. Like the standard edition upgrade, this applies regardless of what IDE you're currently using. Full retail is about $650. No academic pricing on this package, but various options with MSDN subscriptions are available.
- Visual Studio 2008 Team System Development Edition for about $2,138 with MSDN renewal; $5,212 with MSDN first-time. There isn't academic pricing on this package, and you can't buy Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) without MSDN Premium. Microsoft also has a 2-for-1 offer going on this right now, where a purchase of this SKU also gets you a copy of Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition free (Amazon VSTS 2008 Database Edition for $4,800 on its website).
Similar discounts and deals are available for other items in the VSTS family, including the Team Suite, Architecture Edition and Test Edition. Visit the Microsoft Visual Studio price comparison page for more information.
Ed Tittel is a full-time writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT certification and information security topics. Email Ed at email@example.com with comments, questions or suggested topics or tools to review.