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I'm wondering this from a legal standpoint and an installation-issue standpoint. I'm considering pre-ordering Visual Studio 2010 for future use in some home projects, and you cannot pre-order a full version, only an upgrade version.

On the preorder page, it says:

Eligible for upgrade with any previous version of Visual Studio or any other developer tool.

In reality, I think it won't require anything installed, but from a legal standpoint, is this inclusive with development tools such as Eclipse? After installing Windows 7 on this PC, Eclipse is currently the only IDE I have installed.

But really anything could be considered a developer tool, such as Notepad++ or Kaxaml. How has this worked in regards to previous upgrade versions?

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Well, Eclipse is another development tool. You qualify.

Unlike some of their other products, Microsoft seems to want to encourage anyone to get and use their development tools - there's a free version of Visual Studio, which has most of the functionality you'd need, so if they can get you to purchase an "upgrade" licence, they're ahead of the game.

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@chris: I think you're right that in practice, they don't care since I'm purchasing a copy and encouraging C# development. However, every Microsoft rep I've spoken to says you must have a paid Microsoft developer tool now to qualify for an upgrade. See the answer I've provided. They can't check for an installed product anyways if they're allowing upgrades from Visual Studio 6. – Will Eddins Apr 2 '10 at 15:32
up vote 2 down vote accepted

After sending an e-mail to a Microsoft Store rep, he had the following response:

I apologize for the confusion on this matter. It would have been more accurate, perhaps, to list the system requirements for the Visual Studio 2010 upgrade as "Any Microsoft developer tool," as tools from other software companies do not qualify.

It looks like they may have changed their policies from upgrade versions in the past. Looking at an upgrade box of Visual Studio 2005, I see the following:

The enclosed program will search your system to confirm your eligibility for this upgrade. The software will install only if you are a licensed user of one of the following products:

Microsoft Products: Microsoft Visual Tools, Version 5.0 or later

Competitive products: IBM VisualAge, IBM WebSphere Studio, BEA WebLogic Workshop, Oracle Developer Suite, Oracle JDeveloper, Borland C++Builder, Borland Enterprise Studio, Borland JBuilder, Borland Delphi, Borland Kylix, WebGain Studio, WebGain VisualCafe, TogetherSoft Together ControlCenter, Sun ONE Studio, Macromedia Studio, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Macromedia Flash, IntelliJ IDEA, Intel C++, Metrowerks CodeWarrior, Symantec Visual Café, Sun Java Studio, Borland C#Builder, Sybase PowerBuilder

So obviously they allowed upgrades from competitive products in the past.

Calling a Microsoft rep in the Volume Licensing department confirmed that specifically, they allow an upgrade from any paid previous version of Visual Studio (she specifically pointed out that Visual Studio Express editions do not qualify). She also confirmed that they no longer offer upgrades from competitor developer products (and thus, Eclipse does not qualify).

Now, I don't believe the installer will actually check for anything. I do still have a copy of Visual Studio 6 (in all it's huge-box glory) sitting in my closet, which qualifies me for an upgrade. There's no way to install it on Windows 7, since you require VS2005 for Vista or newer from what I've read. If anything, it gives me a legal standing on the issue.

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A couple of months ago on their site they basically said anyone qualifies for the upgrade - you can use Perl, Python, anything at all. They also said they don't check for anything being installed prior.

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@Blackbeagle: If you could find the article stating this, it'd be great. Look at my answer below, all the Microsoft reps I've spoken to appear to disagree. – Will Eddins Apr 2 '10 at 15:26

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protected by BinaryMisfit Oct 26 '10 at 19:34

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