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Will SourceSafe Users Trade Up?

Kathleen Richards is on assignment putting the wraps on Visual Studio Magazine's cover story so I am filling in for her today.

Down at the Fall VSLive! conference in Orlando, Microsoft kicked off the event by previewing a scaled-down version of its forthcoming Team Foundation Server 2010. The company's new TFS Basic Profile is aimed at answering some key reasons many have not traded up -- they either can't afford the full-blown TFS or they feel it is much more complex than what they are now using (see Microsoft Plans Scaled-Down Team Foundation Server).

Many who work on small teams are still satisfied with Visual SourceSafe, the version control system that's been around since the mid 1990s. Others have migrated to open source alternatives such as CVS or Subversion.

"Microsoft has been losing share because even though they have a better source code control solution than Visual SourceSafe, it costs more and requires a more complex installation," said Andrew Brust, chief of new technology at twentysix New York.

In either case, Microsoft is hoping to bring those who manage small dev teams into the TFS fold, said Matt Carter, Microsoft's director of Visual Studio product  management, who introduced TFS Basic Profile in the opening VSLive! session.

One reason TFS Basic Profile is so appealing, Carter said, is it can run on a desktop PC-based on Windows Vista or Windows. Also it takes just 30 minutes to install, he said. "If you have a machine sitting under your desk and that's been the box you use for source control, you will have more options than you had previously."

While he wouldn't reveal pricing, Carter said it will appeal to those on Visual SourceSafe. "I can tell you that it will be at least as easy and cost effective to get as SourceSafe has been," wrote Microsoft technical fellow Brian Harry, in a blog posting.

Harry was on the team in the early 1990s that created SourceSafe even before Microsoft acquired the company that developed it. He was on the team that developed TFS a decade later. In his blog posting, Harry made the case to trade up. "TFS 2010 represents a huge step forward in making TFS more approachable by smaller teams," he wrote. "With software development technology continuing to advance and SourceSafe slowly looking older, TFS 2010 is a great opportunity for SourceSafe users to look at updating their toolset."

So will you consider trading up? Express your thoughts below or drop me a line at [email protected].

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 10/06/2009

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