Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A brilliant strategic move

Microsoft is making their software development tools free downloads for all students.

"It's a brilliant strategic move on the part of Microsoft," said Chris Swenson, a software industry analyst with NPD Group. "This is one of the core audiences you have to hit if you really want to make a difference in the rich Internet application market going forward."
Hmm. Aren't there many other software development tools available for free to anyone? Like Apple's XCode and Eclipse? And didn't Microsoft already arrange nearly-free licensing agreements with many schools? What are the qualifications one needs to become a software industry analyst? Enough free time to read a range of trade publications?


  1. Microsoft is probably reacting to the success of Eclipse, for example. Eclipse appears to be very popular among students.

    Some years ago, Visual Studio was the only game in town when you wanted a decent IDE. For all sorts of bad and good reasons, students tend to like IDEs a lot.

    Eclipse was a very important step forward because it can compete with Visual Studio.

  2. Oh, I agree. It's really silly for a company like MS to charge (or, at least, charge much) for non-commercial use of their development tools. They want the fewest impediments in front of development of new, interesting software ideas on their platform. They also want as many students as possible familiar with their development tools. The fact that I'm writing this lends support to the idea that it falls somewhat short of a "brilliant idea".