Tuesday, April 13, 2010

MSDN Partner Benefits for Visual Studio 2010

vs2010[Update - link to the VS2010 and MSDN licensing white paper]

The company I work for is a Microsoft Gold Partner with and MSDN subscription, and this includes licenses for the new Visual Studio 2010 released yesterday. As I’ve been singled out to administer Microsoft licenses I dived into the Microsoft Partner site to figure out what licenses we are entitled to use regarding Visual Studio 2010.

This was no easy task I assure you, as most information on the partner site is very general. I vaguely remembered reading somewhere that you as a Certified Partner have 5 licenses for Visual Studio, but did we have more?

After clicking around the partner site for about 15 minutes I stumbled upon a page called: Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and MSDN Announcement. It in turn has a download link to a PowerPoint presentation which outlines your benefits quite clearly.

So by reading the table below I see that we are entitled to using 10 licenses of Visual Studio 2010 Premium.

Partner Level

VS2010 Benefit

Certified Partner 5 Visual Studio 2010 Professional with MSDN Premium subscriptions
Certified Partner with ISV and/or CDS Competency 10 Visual Studio 2010 Premium with MSDN subscriptions
Gold Certified Partner 10 Visual Studio 2010 Premium with MSDN subscriptions
Gold Certified Partner with ISV and/or CDS Competency 35 Visual Studio 2010 Premium with MSDN subscriptions
Empower for ISVs 1 Visual Studio 2010 Professional with MSDN Premium subscription

5 Visual Studio 2010 Professional

You will also get access to a different number of TFS licenses for each Partner Level. Reference the PowerPoint for exact details.


  1. Yes.. I found that same PowerPoint presentation and other places where this is mentioned but have you actually found the keys anywhere yet?
    I can't seem to find them on any of the usual key lists.

  2. You download it via your MSDN subscription (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/securedownloads/default.aspx) and the keys are embedded. It's not on the partner pages like the Volume License software.

  3. How do you go about getting your employees setup with the actual MSDN subscription they are entitled to? I am encountering much resistance from Microsoft.

  4. We have one MSDN subscription, and three people can be assigned download rights. We've put the VS iso on a share, and have a wiki where each person register the usage of VS. So each employee cannot access MSDN directly, but have to go thru one of the 'three'.

    Most other tested software is pulled down from the Partner downloads, and we use VLK on them (also the same three people have access).

    Having a full MSDN account per employee can be expensive.

  5. "..with MSDN Premium subscription" means that if your company has a Premium subscription, you are entitled to X number of copies of Visual Studio.

    It does not mean you are entitled X number of licenses + X number of MSDN subscriptions.

  6. Question: I have a msdn subscription from my employer that is under my name can I download and install the visual studio 2010 at home from my home computer.

  7. The license is per user, and as long as your employer is ok with you developing at your home computer you should be good.

    That said, there is no license check in Visual Studio, but a system built on trust.

    Remember that you also have the option of using the Express version of Visual Studio for free. Which is a good option if you don't have the full VS.

  8. There are no benefit of visual studio for Microsoft silver partner or gold partner. Whatever mentioned above are given by microsoft just for installation and uninstallation training purpose. :)

    As per terms and conditions (which one should read carefully) these visual studios can not be used for any revenue generating activities like custom software development or consulting work for end customer. And, if you are unaware and use it, you are liable for penalty.

    So basically, its microsoft mouse trap.

  9. To Anonymous for question related to MSDN.

    MSDN subscription allows you to use 1 copy of each microsoft software. However, it can be used for design, development and testing of your applicatoin.

    And IT CAN NOT BE used for playing games, sending emails or editing document. Else, again you are violating licensing and liable for penalty. For that, you need to have operating system and ms office licenses purchased separately.

  10. Jiten, you are part right. From the licence terms in the white paper I linked to:

    ....cannot be used for direct revenue-generating activities, such as providing consulting services, customizing a packaged application for a specific customer, or building a custom application for a customer, for a fee.

    ....can use for indirect revenue-generating activities, such as building a packaged application on the Microsoft platform, which they can then market and sell to customers.

    So you can use it to develop products which you sell, but not as a consultant tool. I guess this is lawyers meat, as the difference between a custom application and a packaged app you sell one copy are hard to distinguish, if you decide to not purchase full VS2010 licenses.

  11. this whole licensing business kills me off
    I work as developer for a gold partner and we want to try working on some project with VS2010. How do i get the VS installed ?
    I do not care about registrations keys and all this mumbojambo. I WANT TO START LEARNING VS.
    Does MS want me to switch using other products instead?

  12. Hi,
    If you are a gold partner you have several MSDN subscriptions assigned to your company via the Microsoft Partner Portal. These subscriptions has to be assigned to individuals associated with your company. Once assigned, they can go to msdn.microsoft.com, and access the subscriber downloads section to download VS.

    Your other option is to start downloading the 30 day trial from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/bb984878 and then change the product key afterwards.

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