|added Sat May 14 2005 at 10:07 AM
|When I saw that Microsoft was giving out beta copies of Visual Studio 2005 for free, I thought there had to be a catch. It wasn't possible that the corporate giant would let anything out their service entry without a cost or catch. I ordered it with the hope that the only catch would be the certainty that there would be bugs in the system. I wasn't too worried about that because everything I would use in Visual Studio would already be fairly well debugged.
Today, I got a package in the mail from Microsoft. Included were three CDs (DVDs, actually... and they don't work too well in the CD drive). Of course, I'm in front of the computer installing it within 10 minutes of my discovery. I only skimmed over the EULA, but I found at least two catches, one very serious, the other probably won't even affect me.
Catch 1: Expiration date. Yep, that's right. It will no longer be valid (and possibly even go as far as uninstall itself) on May 1, 2006. So, I'll definitely be keeping my Visual Studio .NET, and I'll just enjoy it while I've got it. I've been thinking about picking up a few windows development tutorials, just to get a feel for hardcore windows programming.
Catch 2: Harsh distribution clauses. Now, of course any Microsoft software is going to have "Do not share this software with others" written all over it. What I'm more worried about is phrases that say you cannot share any derivative work, including source code and executables. Waaaaiiiit a second... so you're saying that I can't even distribute my own programs?!? Now, this won't really affect me at all, because I'm not an actual developer, and I have no specific plans of trying to sell anything I make from this. However, I probably will be sending samples to various friends and/or family. If this is translated to the strictest letter, it sounds like I won't even be able to do that much.
I'm still excited to be able to for once say that I was on the front end of new technology, no matter how little I end up using it. I'm sure that Microsoft will be making a *huge* push to get developers to use VS '05, and unlike .NET that I heard about and heard about and eventually tried out after it was all old news, I'll be able to try it out while it's still fresh and new. Technically, at least. In reality, I probably won't even be able to hardly use it (back to me not being a real developer).