Visual Studio with MSDN 2015 products were announced last month by Microsoft and there were a few surprises.   From a licensing standpoint, the most interesting thing is how Microsoft has simplified the number of available products and the transition paths for users of the existing products.  Of course this will have an impact on pricing and you had to know that we would dig into the pricing models! 

While the products may not have launched yet, we know that the transition paths will look like:

File for MSDN Blog post

Basically the key licensing change is that a client who has active Software Assurance on Visual Studio Premium with MSDN or Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN will automatically be transitioned to the new Visual Studio Enterprise Edition with MSDN.


What are the Licensing Impacts?


As you would expect, here at MetrixData360 we immediately started wondering what the impact would be on our clients in terms of licensing costs. In our experience, most enterprise clients have a Visual Studio with MSDN mix that is roughly:

  • 40% Professional
  • 40% Premium
  • 20% Ultimate edition

We thought it would be interesting to model out how a 1-year renewal would look under the old pricing model compared to the new model with the new 2015 transitions. We used the Visual Studio 2015 pricing which Microsoft has published at and contrasted this with Select Level A Estimated Retail Pricing (under the old model).

MSDN chart

What becomes obvious is that the Visual Studio 2015 transition is a pricing winner for current Ultimate Edition users but will cause a dramatic cost increases for your current Professional and Premium Edition users.


What Can You Do to Contain Your Visual Studio with MSDN Costs?


  • The first thing you can do is ensure that your developers actually need and are using Visual Studio with MSDN. 
  • Remember that Visual Studio with MSDN products are licensed on a per named user basis not the number of installations. You don’t need to license all installations in your environment as long as all your developers/people who can access the software are licensed as named users. 
  • Update your Visual Studio with MSDN active subscription list on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center portal. In an audit/SAM situation we have seen instances in which the audit partner will question a clients asset management capabilities based on how this portal is managed. If you are the volume license administrator make sure your active users are logged here and remove users who are no longer active.  

 Engage MetrixData360 for a discussion about how our experts can help you to reduce your Microsoft licensing costs!

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MetrixData 360MetrixData360 translates software licensing agreements into clear understandings and drives significant cost savings in audits and negotiations.