Help me give Microsoft money!
February 25, 2009 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way that I can buy older versions of Microsoft software?

Here's the deal. I have MSDN Ultimate/Premium/Universal (whatever they are calling it this year), so I have fully legal access to lots and lots of Microsoft stuff. We are currently using Visual Studio 2005 for all of our development.

We have a few non-MSDN licenses of Visual Studio 2005 for other developers who are not MSDN subscribers. We are (rightly) very strict on the terms of the subscription-- it's just for me, not for someone who is not me.

Here's the big problem-- how can I get a new developer up and running with our projects? Visual Studio 2005 is no longer offered for sale. Upgrading to Visual Studio 2008 is not currently an option, since some of the drivers we use are not compatible with VS2008. This may change in the future, but I need something now!
posted by gregvr to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why not just sign up for the partner program and get an action pack?
posted by brian60640 at 2:18 PM on February 25, 2009

Ebay. It's not cheap.
posted by snowjoe at 2:22 PM on February 25, 2009

Vio Software tends to have decent prices on legit, one-off retail packages of older Microsoft products. For larger organization, you want to talk to whoever you do Microsoft licensing through of course to see if there's a licensing deal to be made.
posted by eschatfische at 2:33 PM on February 25, 2009

Often many companies will work with you one this. You're not in a unique position. I know at least one major company lets us buy a current license, then install an older version, and Extenis Suitcase just did this for us on 50 copies of Suitcase.

See if they'll let you buy the current, and instal what yu need. This is easier, obviously, if you are under a unified group serial number.

They want your money. They're happy you;re using their product. They should work with you.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:04 PM on February 25, 2009

Microsoft will sell you additional licenses, you shouldn't need to find an actual copy of the package to buy. The license they sell may say VS2008 on it, but they'll tell you it's good for previous versions. Call them up.
posted by rhizome at 3:16 PM on February 25, 2009

For just getting up and running, Express edition may well be sufficient. In spite of being free, it's not nearly as cut-down as you might think.

VS 2005 Express is still available for free from MS.
posted by matthewr at 3:33 PM on February 25, 2009

Visual Studio 2008 includes "downgrade rights" that allow you to use a copy of VS2005 in its place. You can purchase a legal copy of Visual Studio 2008, and install a MSDN copy of Visual Studio 2005 (or a retail copy) entirely legally. I can't find it officially -- but your reseller should be able to confirm this for you.

From the Visual Studio 2008 EULA:

"DOWNGRADE. You may install and use this version and an earlier version of the software at the same time. This agreement applies to your use of the earlier version. If the earlier version includes different components, any terms for those components in the agreement that comes with the earlier version apply to your use of them. Microsoft is not obligated to supply earlier versions to you."
posted by SirStan at 6:41 PM on March 19, 2009

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