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Visual Studio Community Licensing

    Question

  • I would like to know clearly what is the exact policy of Microsoft regarding selling apps developed with this SW as a small business (not qualified as Enterprise by the EULA). In the EULA I have read that as an organization we can use it to develop and test programs, so I am guessing we could use them internally but not sell it to another company. Am I right here?

    If that is the case (not being able to sell developed programs internally), would we need to develop them using a licensed Visual Studio or buy a license to distribute already developed ones (in this case, which one).

    Thank you for your help.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 10:18 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    my understanding is, that you are allowed to develop the application as small company as it is given in the license.

    What you do with the code / application afterwards is completly up to you and is not limited. So from my understanding, you can sell the product as an ISV afterwards. The license only tells you, what you are allowed to do with Visual Studio. So if you are allowed to create and test the software with Visual Studio: great. Afterwards you can copy the software around (not from inside Visual Studio). You can delete it (Not from inside Visual Studio if you want to fit to the License! Deleting a whole project from inside Visual Studio is not covered by the license!) And you can sell any rights you own (Not from inside Visual Studio).

    But if you are not sure, then you should go and ask a lawyer. The lawyer will read the license agreement and will tell you, if your usage should be covered or not. Important: The local laws are important together with the license agreement and other rules that Microsoft has made you sign. (Be sure to read everything shown when you install the products!) 

    There are special cases that are NOT covered and I like the "fair use" thing that the US seems to have (I am not from the US, so I don't know much about this). So if you work as a consultant for some other enterprise, then the "small company" rules does not fit, because you are using it inside the big enterprise. So development of software for a big company on a time & effort basis might be a hard case that could fit into this. But if you just create your product and a big comapny is buying it: fine in my eyes.

    So this offer from Microsoft is simply great! It is great if you start a business. But if you really want to sell software and stuff like that: Check out the Microsoft Partner Network! Maybe you can be a Microsoft Partner and get an Action Pack Subscription. That way you get some Visual Studio Professional including a lot of other licenses (e.g. 10 full Clients including Windows Update and Office and one Windows Server and all the Test Licenses for your developers with the MSDN subscriptions that are included.) That way you get a great amount of licenses for small money.

    So my main advice is really: Check the MPN! If you pay a lawyer to be on the safe side or pay Microsoft for the Action Pack: I would prefer the last option :)

    With kind regards,

    Konrad

    Friday, August 19, 2016 8:43 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Oblap,

    According to the following link about MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS of MICROSOFT VISUAL STUDIO COMMUNITY 2015. Up to 5 of your individual users can use the software concurrently to develop and test your applications. If you are an enterprise, your employees and contractors may not use the software to develop or test your applications, except for open source and education purposes.

    MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS:

    https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/support/legal/mt171547

    For license issue, you can call 1-800-426-9400, Monday through Friday, 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. (Pacific Time) to speak directly to a Microsoft licensing specialist, and you can get more detail information from there. You can also visit the following site for more information and support on licensing issues:

    http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/mplahome.mspx

    Sincerely,

    Oscar


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place. Click HERE to participate the survey.

    Friday, August 19, 2016 8:11 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    my understanding is, that you are allowed to develop the application as small company as it is given in the license.

    What you do with the code / application afterwards is completly up to you and is not limited. So from my understanding, you can sell the product as an ISV afterwards. The license only tells you, what you are allowed to do with Visual Studio. So if you are allowed to create and test the software with Visual Studio: great. Afterwards you can copy the software around (not from inside Visual Studio). You can delete it (Not from inside Visual Studio if you want to fit to the License! Deleting a whole project from inside Visual Studio is not covered by the license!) And you can sell any rights you own (Not from inside Visual Studio).

    But if you are not sure, then you should go and ask a lawyer. The lawyer will read the license agreement and will tell you, if your usage should be covered or not. Important: The local laws are important together with the license agreement and other rules that Microsoft has made you sign. (Be sure to read everything shown when you install the products!) 

    There are special cases that are NOT covered and I like the "fair use" thing that the US seems to have (I am not from the US, so I don't know much about this). So if you work as a consultant for some other enterprise, then the "small company" rules does not fit, because you are using it inside the big enterprise. So development of software for a big company on a time & effort basis might be a hard case that could fit into this. But if you just create your product and a big comapny is buying it: fine in my eyes.

    So this offer from Microsoft is simply great! It is great if you start a business. But if you really want to sell software and stuff like that: Check out the Microsoft Partner Network! Maybe you can be a Microsoft Partner and get an Action Pack Subscription. That way you get some Visual Studio Professional including a lot of other licenses (e.g. 10 full Clients including Windows Update and Office and one Windows Server and all the Test Licenses for your developers with the MSDN subscriptions that are included.) That way you get a great amount of licenses for small money.

    So my main advice is really: Check the MPN! If you pay a lawyer to be on the safe side or pay Microsoft for the Action Pack: I would prefer the last option :)

    With kind regards,

    Konrad

    Friday, August 19, 2016 8:43 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you very much for your response, really useful. I will consider the MPN for the future when we get bigger and need more licenses.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2016 4:53 PM
  • Thank you for the information. I considered calling a Microsoft Licensing specialist but couldn't find a phone number, is there customer service in other countries? I am from Spain.
    Tuesday, September 06, 2016 4:56 PM
  • Hi Oblap,

    Just as my reply. The telephone is 1-800-426-9400. You could call this number.

    Sincerely,

    Oscar


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place. Click HERE to participate the survey.

    Wednesday, September 07, 2016 8:56 AM
    Moderator