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TestDriven.Net Once Again Supports VS Express Editions

by Jonathan Allen on Apr 04, 2007 |
TestDriven.Net has restored and enhanced support for the Visual Studio Express Editions in the 2.5 beta despite tensions between Jamie Cansdale and Microsoft over license concerns.
 
TestDriven.Net is a unit testing add-on that supports multiple frameworks including NUnit, MbUnit, and MS Team System. It is free for casual users and starts at $95 for professional and enterprise users.
 
Jamie Cansdale, a former MVP, got into a dispute with Microsoft over whether or not he was allowed to create extensions and add-ins for Visual Studio Express.
 
Jason insisted that I remove Express SKU support because allegedly I was in violation of Microsoft's license agreements and copyrights. He refused to give any indication of where or even which license I was in violation of! I was also barred from joining VSIP until I gave in to their demands. This meant I wouldn't have been able to get a PLK to release some unrelated functionality that I had been working on.
These are serious allegations and consequences. Surely it is reasonable to request some indication of where I was in violation. If I was accidentally in violation then, how could I be sure not to end up in a similar situation in future?
At one point Jason recommended I make an announcement on my website that was in contradiction to everything I had been saying and believed. If I had made this announcement and removed Express SKU support, I suspect my actions would have been deemed acceptable.
It wasn't the MVP issue that persuaded me to drop support for Express. Microsoft made it very clear that I wouldn't be accepted into the VSIP program unless I dropped support for the Express SKU.
Unfortunately the only way to get a PLK (package load key) is by joining VSIP. If I was barred from joining VSIP then I wouldn't be able to release some functionality that I had been working on. For the moment I have decided not to join VSIP, however I do need to keep the option open.
This is what Jason said:
"As we have discussed on multiple occasions your hacks to integrate TestDriven.Net into Visual Studio 2005 Express violate Microsoft license terms and we ask that you stop distributing these hacks."
"You will not be accepted into the VSIP program until you conform to our license agreements."
I was never told where I was in violation of the license. Instead I got:
"Microsoft can't provide you legal advice. You will need to work with your legal council to answer these questions."
What could I do? 
The Jason he refers to is Jason Weber, the Lead Program Manager of Microsoft's Visual Studio - IDE Team.
 
It is theorized that this is the reason Jamie lost his MVP status, though Microsoft has never said for sure. To further muddy the waters, Jamie received an invitation to join the MVP program on February 27, only to have it rescinded three days latter.
 
In regards to the legal question, InfoQ has been unable to find any restrictions in the Visual Studio Express or Visual Studio 2005 SDK license agreement against building add-ins or extensions. If you or someone you know has more information on this issue, please tell us.
  

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M$ up to their dirty tricks, once again!! by adam metzler

This is why I have chosen that my next computer will be a Mac or Dell with Linux. I'm of the firm belief that the only way to get M$ to stop strong arming people, businesses, and organizations is to just stop using their products. All the software, development tools, and visual eye candy that is available on M$ is available on other OS's. The only difference being is that some of the apps will be from a different vendor, and you will likely get better support, fewer dirty tricks, and better stability/security.

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