Licensing, Pricing Tweaks with Visual Studio Online Favor Enterprises

Simple licensing change that allows single user to use VSO and TFS will go into effect September 1. And VSO Basic pricing is simplified as well.

Software and services licensing and pricing can often get complicated for organizations who have varying usage needs, but the aim of some licensing and pricing changes to Visual Studio Online and Team Foundation Server is to make those issues less of a guessing game. That's according to a blog post last week from Microsoft's Brian Harry.

"We are fundamentally changing the way we do per user licensing for TFS and VS Online," writes Harry, with the changes aimed at making licensing super-simple. With the purchase of any level of VSO license -- Basic, Professional, or Advanced -- that license extends to the corresponding level of TFS CAL. "We this will simplify the purchasing for organizations by giving one thing to buy and then a choice about which to use – cloud and/or on premises," as he explains.

TFS users under an Enterprise Agreement, MPSA, and Open agreement will see the change September 1. Users who are under a Pay-As-You-Go plan or other plans outside of the enterprise-level agreements will see the per-CAL licensing take effect sometime between October and November.

Harry broke down some of the changes in VSO Basic pricing as well. For the first 5 users, it's free. Then for 6 to 10 users, it's $6 per user per month, and then it gets discounted as more users are added, down to $2 per user per month if there are more than 1,000 users.

Harry said the savings will be significant. even with the very minimum. An example scenario of 45 users will spend $310 per month when the pricing rules go into effect in September. "Today, 45 users using VS Online Basic is $800 per month," he explains, and the cost savings for more users can go down significantly. He said the group is mulling pricing changes for VSO Pro and Advanced, but the team isn't ready to provide any details.

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