Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I stopped using Microsoft Visual Studio and Azure (2019)

I am mostly a hobbyist developer. I had moved to more process management in software engineering. So the cost of paying for the professional version ($1200 / $800) of Visual Studio is quite steep even though I still paid for several years. I am aware there is an Express version which I had used initially but the professional provided a lot of neat features also provided Azure credit so I figured it compensated some of the cost.

I was content with paying but then my real work got busy for several months, also many things came up in my personal life, so I had neglected programming for a bit. When I returned, I realized Visual Studio no longer let me log in. I eventually found that my subscription had expired. I then noticed that I had received a bunch of emails that said I was overdue. This was due to a fraudulent charge on my credit card which was canceled, and that card was the one on record to renew.

This was extremely confusing, because I thought they had moved to subscription basis which I had been paying. When I paid all the overdue costs, I was still unable to use VS 2019. But somehow VS was separate and that had expired several months past, so it will cost me another $1200 to repurchase to use. I am still a bit confused exactly what is what, like what was Visual Studio and what was monthly subscription.

My current understanding is that I was paying monthly for Azure which does not include VS. I had paid for VS the prior year. Sadly, I didn't notice that I had been paying some much to MS for so long. So I still have Azure to host my site temporarily, but absolutely no access to VS. But if I paid for VS, then I should basically own my copy of VS. After talking to support, this was confirmed to be the case. I was unable to find a key in my MSDN subscription. I just grew tired and frustrated, then just refused to use VS again... not even the Express version.

On top of that, since I had purchased VS 2019, I should have had $50 monthly credit to Azure so why was I paying the Azure monthly costs (which was under $50 / month)?! Ugh.... this is so painful.

In Summary

I had once forgot to renew in the past and paid the full cost, so this is the second time. I was barely ok with the cost. Then they moved me to subscription basis which I had complained about because I just wanted to pay a flat amount. Then I found out that I still had to pay the VS subscription and I guess I was paying the Azure subscription. I had been using VS for over 10 years, maybe around 15 years.... and absolutely no sympathy for my situation. I have been a promoter of MS VS, .NET, and MS SQL, but no longer. I don't hate them, but definitely no love anymore. 

And so, I have moved to Google Cloud, Linux, Python, Apache, Django, and Postgres. After one week, the pricing scheme is very reasonable for hobbyists and people who wants to experiment before going full production. First impressions for this new tech stack will come in the future.

Will I go back? Maybe if there were some changes, but unlikely. I'll continue to use MS Windows, although a good chance I may move

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