Microsoft Expands .NET Ecosystem With New Visual Studio Industry Partner Program
July 29, 2003
New VSIP Program Expands Opportunities for a Diverse Constellation of Partners

REDMOND, Wash., July 29, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today broadened the reach of its developer partner programs to provide a more diverse mix of partners with a wider variety of opportunities in the Microsoft® .NET ecosystem. The new program, renamed the Visual Studio® Industry Partner (VSIP) program, provides three tiers of membership that deliver customized benefits to a wider range of partners, replacing the single-tier program that has led the industry since 1999. More than 175 VSIP partners, including AmberPoint Inc., Borland Software Corp., HP, IBM Corp., Intel Corp, Mercury Interactive Corp., Telelogic and others, have delivered more than 300 products that cover the breadth of the enterprise development life cycle.

The improved, expanded Visual Studio Industry Partner program provides free access to the VSIP Software Development Kit (SDK), offering Visual Studio .NET partners and customers advanced integration and customization capabilities. As a result, partners of any size may extend the Visual Studio .NET integrated development environment (IDE) with new project systems, visual design interfaces, code editors and advanced debuggers.

"The inauguration of VSIP in 1999 brought new and exciting opportunities to partners, and since then we've been listening to partners' ideas for program refinement," said Eric Rudder, senior vice president of Server and Tools at Microsoft. "With the new Visual Studio Industry Partner program, we are putting those ideas in action to create a partner renaissance, opening doors to a new segment of partners, including academic institutions, corporations and independent software vendors, large and small."

"As a member of the Visual Studio Industry Partner program, Borland is committed to increasing the productivity of development teams across the enterprise," said Ted Shelton, senior vice president of business development at Borland. "The expanded focus of the VSIP program will provide enterprises with a broader selection of technology for .NET Framework development, helping to increase the functionality of the Visual Studio .NET development environment and enabling development teams to deliver better software, faster."

The newly created VSIP program will make it easier for developers to customize the Visual Studio environment to better suit their needs and for independent software vendors (ISVs) to reach millions of potential customers with commercially successful products. In addition to the free VSIP SDK, another new program benefit is the availability of the Visual Studio Premier Partner edition. A special shell-only version of the Visual Studio .NET IDE, the Visual Studio Premier Partner edition enables partners to ship the Visual Studio IDE with their products. Fujitsu Software Corp., InstallShield Software Corp. and Intel each announced separately that it will immediately license the Visual Studio Premier Partner edition.

"Intel is pleased to continue its participation in the Visual Studio Industry Partner program. Using the Visual Studio Premier Partner edition for our VTune (TM) Performance Analyzer exemplifies our continued commitment to provide industry-leading products that enable developers to create high-performance Windows-based applications on Intel® processor-based platforms," said Jonathan Khazam, general manager of the Software Products Division in Intel's Software and Solutions Group. "A well-integrated set of tools from Intel and Microsoft is a major productivity factor for our customers. We are very pleased to complement and enhance the Microsoft offerings using the VSIP program."

"For years we've been delivering our strategy to extend Visual Studio by seamlessly integrating our life-cycle solution into it," said Mike Devlin, general manager, IBM Rational software. "Just last month, we delivered the latest release of our tools in support of Visual Studio .NET 2003. Putting Rational's modeling, change management, testing and run-time analysis capabilities at the fingertips of the Visual Studio .NET developer is an accomplishment that was afforded by the VSIP program."

Partner Programs Come Together Under Three Levels of Membership

The introduction of the Visual Studio .NET Integration Program enabled partners to build enterprise development tools that were seamlessly integrated into Visual Studio .NET. In addition, the Microsoft .NET Component Builder Program offered technical information and marketing opportunities to component and control vendors targeting the .NET Framework. Today, Microsoft's developer partner programs come together under the Visual Studio Industry Partner program, providing a consistent relationship with Microsoft for all enterprise tools and component vendors. This new version of the VSIP program offers partners three levels of engagement with Microsoft:

  • Affiliate. A free level of membership for smaller companies and academic institutions seeking easy access to the VSIP SDK, including newsgroup support on the VSIP community site and inclusion in the online product catalog.

  • Alliance. Includes Affiliate-level benefits plus a one-year MSDN® Universal subscription and enhanced co-marketing opportunities, including participation in Microsoft press activities, case studies, events and the VSIP logo program; component and control vendors, ISVs, and systems integrators benefit from the Alliance level at a $3,000 annual fee.

  • Premier. Includes Alliance-level benefits plus eligibility to distribute Visual Studio .NET and license the Visual Studio Premier Partner edition. Additional co-marketing opportunities include MSDN webcasts, visibility on the Visual Studio Partner home page, and global marketing activities to reach millions of Microsoft developer customers, making this $10,000 annual fee ideal for ISVs targeting the enterprise.

Current members of the Visual Studio .NET Integration Program will automatically be transferred into the Premier level of VSIP, while current .NET Component Builder Program members will automatically become Alliance-level members.

"The VSIP program enables Wilde to integrate directly into Visual Studio .NET, unifying the worlds of architects, designers and developers, and delivering real architecture-driven development," said Colum Twomey, CEO of Wilde Technologies in Dublin, Ireland. "Furthermore, it broadens opportunities to partner companies and developers on a global scale, and we are very pleased with Microsoft's efforts to enhance the value of VSIP for the software ecosystem."

More details on the program are available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/partners/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Visual Studio and MSDN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft's corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .

Read More: