“If the choice was between not ever having released Visual Studio Express (or not releasing it in the future) or having Visual Studio Express with an explicit limitation to block extensibility, which would you chose?”
I would choose to transfer the ignorant wonk who made those the ONLY choices to a new position. Their new job would be to go around campus, unroll the toilet paper in the restrooms, and roll it back on the tube the opposite direction. Because I can’t think of a job that would better suit a person that useless.
Everyone involved in the discussion seems to agree that Microsoft has the legal right to enforce their EULA and that Cansdale shouldn’t have violated the “technical limitation” clause. But no one seems to be debating whether or not MS should HAVE THE LIMITATION IN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE..
So the question is. Why is that limitation in the EULA in the first place. Dan F. almost addresses the issue, but flubs it up:
The Express Customer
The vast majority of our customer base, now with 14 million downloads, isn’t even professional developers, its non-professionals. In fact over 80% of Express registrants don’t describe themselves as a “developer”. From a total number perspective, beginners are the largest segment of Express customers and they still find Express too complex, it has too many features, and they see development as a means to an end (I just want to create my kids soccer league Web site). Our Express customers haven’t been asked for unit testing or extensiblity in much the same way as I didn’t ask or even know to ask when I grew up programming BASIC on an Apple IIe. Heck even professional developers with years of programming experience can’t program FizzBuzz.
Well then, those people don’t HAVE to install TestDriven.NET. But some might want to after they’ve mastered FizzBuzz. Those people aren’t going to go around installing. Let’s say that instead of TestDrive.NET, it’s an add on that helps you import your Hotmail address book into a database for your soccer website? In fact, what would happen if you built a community around small add-ons to the Express SKU’s. Let people create their own using Express and then share them with other Express users? That would be great for the Express customers right?
But I guess that wouldn’t be the Microsoft way. Microsoft appears to be moving more towards the Verizon attitude. Hate your customers as much as you hate yourself. Which is why Mike Gunderloy won’t be an exception for much longer.