Microsoft vs The Little Guy

Have you ever used TestDriven.Net ? If you’re unaware of it, it’s a Test Driven Development enhancement for Visual Studio written by Jamie Cansdale. And Microsoft thought that it was such a great product, that they even awarded him their MVP – Most Valuable Professional – an award for the “exceptional technical community leaders from around the world who are awarded for voluntarily sharing their high quality, real world expertise”. You could almost be fooled into thinking they actually like the guy.

Wrong. Turns out he’s involved in a legal wrangle with Microsoft’s lawyers who are claiming that his add-in contravenes Visual Studio’s licensing model. You see, Microsoft actually give away a cut-down version of their development product. And they are insisting that Jamie blocks his add-in from working with the free version. There’s a full write-up down at his blog, with copies of all the letters that have been flying back and forth, and the situation has escalated in the last few days with Microsoft’s lawyers? putting the thumb screws on to try and enforce their position.

The crazy thing is that Jamie’s work is actually enhancing Microsoft’s product set and making it a more valuable proposition for people who are looking to adopt .Net as their programming language. Microsoft’s decision to give away a free version was probably based on trying to get hobbyists and students to embrace their languages, as opposed to moving to Java, Ruby or other community-supported languages. This sort of action must be terrifying for Jamie, but it also hurts Microsoft in a big way. With the whole world getting more “community-centric”, the last thing Microsoft needs it to alienate the very people who evangelise their products!

Source:? The Reg

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