VS.android and iOS should be FREE

dapugdapug USMember ✭✭

So here I am, new to Xamarin, trying to check things out, run a simple cross plat hello-world starter project with WP8, WinRT, Android and iOS in the solution. BAM, no can do. Must buy Business edition for $999 just to do this.

This makes no sense. At all.

Xamarin, please take a lesson from Unity3d. Their free tools are free, until your company makes over $x or your team is x in size. The fact that I cannot even open a simple solution in VS without putting down a grand is a bootstraped startup killer.

Lets look even deeper at the business case here: dev gets to put (cross plat, droid, iOS, the works) projects together for free - Xamarin makes no $.

-Dev startup fails - Xamarin makes no money. OR,

-Dev startup succeeds, Xamarin now makes $$$ (not only from dev, but now his whole team). OR,

-Dev was a hobbyist, Xamarin makes no $. BUT, dev is now experienced with Xamarin, has a job at some enterprise corp trying to build cross plat apps, and succeeds in influencing the whole team that Xamarin is the shiz. Xamarin now makes $$$ on the entire team.

It is a win no matter what. Upsides all around, for Xamarin and Dev. But as it stands right now, you are crippling both the Dev and yourself by improper skew/pricing schemes. I have not evaluated yet, but also suspect your app size restriction is too limited as well.

Please call me. I have a lot of experience with this stuff (former product manager of Expression Studio and Visual Studio at Microsoft).

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Posts

  • AndrewWayAndrewWay USXamarin Team Xamurai

    You can start a 30-day Business trial

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭

    uh, I think you missed the entire point of the post. :( My apologies, I should have mentioned the trial and how it doesn't even begin to solve the problem.

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭

    Adding a little more spice here.

    As I sit down to evaluate what it will take for my zero income startup to do ANYTHING cross platform with Xamarin, I discovered the following:

    Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS not only cost $$$ just to use them regardless of size of team or project, but ALSO do not support the Express (Free) version of Visual Studio. Double Wham Wham.

    So lets add it up:

    • $499 VS Pro up to $4,249 for Ultimate (non-Express)
    • $999 Xamarin Studio Business up to $1899 Enterprise
    • $1,999 Macbook Pro up to $2,599 depending on options
    • $499 iPad Air up to $929 depending on options
    • $349 Android Tab (cost varies by many factors)

    $4,346 Grand total bootstrap startup cost for ONE developer as a CONSERVATIVE low end (now multiply this by # of devs).

    Lets face it, the WHOLE point is cross platform, and that means iOS + Android. That said, even if we 'assume' a dev already has a Mac and even an iPad and some cheap Android hardware to test with, factor the hardware out:

    $1,498 per developer - the cost is still extremely prohibitive for a startup.

    Someone please rescue me from drowning here. Have I got my numbers wrong? YMMV, but not by much, I fear. Cant we come up with a better "Pay as you Grow" model?

  • adrian.9021adrian.9021 USBeta, University ✭✭

    If you buy the Indie version, you are out only $600 and you are able to work on both iOS and Android. Yes, no VS, but hey, you are bootstrapping and that means more sweat and less fancy.
    As soon as some projects kick in, then you can upgrade to the things you actually desire.

  • DWestyDWesty USMember ✭✭

    Your costs are more than over inflated... but lets put that aside.

    The indie version is there for a you low cost $299.99 per platform and they aren't constricting you with a profit leaching EULA like Unity does for indie developers.

    The end result is Xamarin Studio is functional and can do exactly what you want it to do; except being VS. If you are a bootstrap startup you really need to look at why you want to use Xamarin and weigh your .NET experience. Personally I would rather pay $600 once for both platforms than owe Xamarin a % once the money starts rolling in.

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭
    edited March 2014

    @rmacias‌ Share the popcorn please.

    @DWesty‌

    Your costs are more than over inflated...

    My costs are quoting exact figures from Microsoft, Apple and Xamarin. So if I am off, it is because you are suggesting I don't need something. Sounds like I was wrong about the need for Business edition? But to be fair, maybe I should inflate the numbers MORE because I totally missed the cost PER PLATFORM, which means Windows + Andrdoid + iOS = $999 x 3 (Biz) = $2,700, or $299 x 3 (indie) = $900. Ouch.

    I would rather pay $600 once for both platforms than owe Xamarin a % once the money starts rolling in.

    I assume you are referring to Unity3d licensing/leaching. I agree, to a point. At least I can get my app going without a barrier right now, and if I am making $, I can afford the "leaching" cost, even though i would of course rather pay a single time and be done (i.e. XS, VS).

    Perspective:

    My main issue is being lost in the rhetoric here. I WANT Xamarin to be successful, and that means getting it widely adopted.

    Follow this simple logic: A large (if not THE largest) target audience for Xamarin are .NET developers familiar with VS and MS platforms, not wanting to custom build droid and iOS apps outright. If the customer therefore is coming from an MS background, lets consider the following on how a noob gets started with MS platforms:

    • Can download VS for FREE (express editions) and build any size app they can muster despite not-too-painful limitations.
    • Can use TFS service for FREE for a 5 man team
    • VS Express integrates with TFS (not a pay feature, not hard to set up)
    • Dev can build a fully useable app with VS Express
    • VS Pro is $499, when user "graduates" from express. ONCE, done. Not per platform. yeesh.
    • VS Pro allows you to have a single solution with all project types, plugins, and no need to open various express skews to get things done.

    Microsoft makes their $ later as the business grows and needs increase, starting with Pro as mentioned above. The barrier to entry is VERY LOW, not only to evaluate, but to get started building real apps.

    Contrast with Getting Started with Xamarin:

    Since the WHOLE point of cross platform is, well, cross platform, there is no sense in factoring non-cross platform (one-off XS.iOS, etc), so I will evaluate this from that basis (Windows + Android + iOS).

    • Can download Starter edition for FREE
    • Cannot open most/all cross platform samples out there (most are using features that require a paid skew, such as VS plugins. See super basic hello-world cross plat example. Nothing about it feels "fancy" or above free skew.
    • Connecting to TFS, if possible at all with Starter, is a tedious nightmare, compared to click, click, done in VS.
    • Dev cannot build a fully useable app with XS Starter (size limitation to hello-world)
    • Upgrade to indie will cost you $900 minimum
    • Upgrade to Business will cost you $2,700 (equivalent to VS pro for all intents and purposes, allows you to have a single solution, do everything you need in VS, and not open different "express" skews)

    The barrier to entry is VERY HIGH, as not only is it difficult to evaluate the products (samples dont even work well with this skew), but it is completely useless for building a real app at the end of the day, and you are immediately forced to go with Indie or Business. I don't even see the point in Starter for that matter.

    Conclusion: massive shell shock.

    Is that fair, everyone? I am entitled to my perspective, and I believe it is quite valid. If I have made a mistake in my assessment, I am happy to be corrected. I would think if Xamarin wants to get wide adoption and increase profits (not lose profits) they need to consider a better, less shocking, much lower barrier to entry for startups.

    Lastly, the current skew model assumes that if you can pay for VS pro ($499) which allows plugins, you can also magically afford Business ($2,700) to then actually make use of VS. Bah! Terrible. Seriously.

  • DaveHuntDaveHunt USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    One thing you forget in your analysis - Microsoft makes money off of all those free tools. Free tools attract developers, which increases demand for computers/devices running Windows. Microsoft makes money. Developers create games/applications that run on computers/devices running Windows. This attracts users, which increases demand for computers/devices running Windows. Microsoft makes money. If these games/applications are sold in the Windows app store or Windows Phone app store, Microsoft gets a percentage of your money. And Microsoft has the money to wait for these free tools to generate more money.

    Xamarin doesn't have an OS/platform to generate revenue, so they wouldn't make a penny from giving away their tools. Given that a mojority of developers end up never producing any apps or produce apps that don't make much money, there wouldn't be much in the way of royalties available to Xamarin either. And who wants to pay royalties out of a paycheck that's already had royalties taken out of it by Apple and/or Microsoft?

    Start with the tools that are available for free. Sell some apps and make some money. When you've got enough money, buy Xamarin and start making more money with less effort. That's the way the world works.

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭
    edited March 2014

    @DaveHunt‌ fair 'nuff, I agree with most of what you pointed out. I need to clarify that I do NOT feel that Xamarin and MS business models are the same, far from that. However, there ARE ways for Xamarin to lower the barrier to entry, and still maintain exactly the profits they have as they increase adoption. Period, end of my point.

  • DWestyDWesty USMember ✭✭

    @dapug

    If unity does what you want then by all means have at it. Unity and Xamarin offer very different value propositions.

    If your only reason for wanting the Business Edition is VS support you are missing out(You can get around the Sqlclient and WCF). TFS(IMO) isn't really a good enough reason either since we are talking about a startup whats wrong with GIT?

    If you are looking to minimize your costs all I am saying is you might need to adjust your paradigms.

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭

    Unity is not a solve all, that is why I am here rallying for Xamarin. Are we saying that an acceptable paradigm is high barrier to entry? Doesn't sound like a winning strategy.

  • DWestyDWesty USMember ✭✭

    @dapug ....

    Revisit your cost benefit analysis on Business Vs Indie was what I was suggesting. You might be pleasantly surprised. $600 bucks and a mac gets you in the Xplatform game. Or $300 bucks and your existing computer gets you to started with Android and you can add iOS and the mac later.

    Ultimately you make your own decisions and this is just my two cents.

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭

    Having not purchased anything yet, that would be a helpful clarification - what is meant by "per-platform"? To the noob it looks like for indie:

    • $299 XS (WP8 + WinRT)
    • $299 XS.Android
    • $299 XS.iOS
  • JasonAwbreyJasonAwbrey USInsider, University, Developer Group Leader mod

    For WP8/WinRT development, you use Microsoft's tools. Xamarin only addresses the iOS/Android part of the cross-platform equation.

  • DWestyDWesty USMember ✭✭

    Which is a lot less than $999 x Dev x Platform and you can probably avoid paying for anything WP related till the break even point is reasonable

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭

    Does XS iOS/Android support PCL?

  • AlanMcGovernAlanMcGovern USXamarin Team Xamurai
    edited March 2014

    ALSO do not support the Express (Free) version of Visual Studio. Double Wham Wham.

    This is Microsofts limitation. The express editions of Visual Studio expressly forbid people from releasing compatible extensions.

    If you have already purchased Visual Studio Pro (or whatever) and wish to keep using it, then we do offer support for that. However as the SDKs, compilers, linkers, packagers and uploaders for iOS applications are only available on MacOS we do require you to own a Mac. Without a mac you simply cannot compile iOS binaries. To fulfill this requirement you can buy a second hand mac mini, or even a brand new one for about $600.

    If cost is the primary concern and you are not tied to Visual Studio then you can do 100% of your development on a Mac. This significantly lowers the cost of entry.

    For trialing purposes you might want to start development on only a single platform, in which case the 'best' platform to target would be Android. Xamarin Studio allows you to develop Android applications on either Windows or MacOS thus removing the need to buy any other hardware/software.

  • SebastianSeidel.9226SebastianSeidel.9226 DEInsider, University ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2014

    I agree with @AlanMcGovern‌. @dapug‌ with your "experience with this stuff (former product manager of Expression Studio and Visual Studio at Microsoft)" you should have known that the express versions do not support third party addons. How long would it take you to learn Java and Objectiv-c? And how much would it cost you?

  • AlexWhiteAlexWhite GBMember ✭✭✭

    I have used Microsoft products for years I was a gold partner for 10+ years as well, the express products in Microsoft are not business level products in most cases and you find that a lot of products outgrow the express products very quickly esp as you start to use 3rd party products, so aligning Xamarin's products to Microsoft's express products is not a fair comparison at all. In most cases the requirement to use Visual studio with Xamarin's stuff is a nice to have but not essential, my original licence was full blown everything, today I use the Indie licence and move .cs files around between my mobile and windows products this has saved me a bunch of money.

    You get what you pay for in this world, I would rather Xamarin have the prices they have and invest in them, rather than cheap products that don't get enough attention because they don't make enough money.

    Writing software is a risky business, the risk lowers as you become more proficient, my moving into IOS development cost me well over £3,000 with nothing to show for the first year, but years 2-3 I have lived off the proceeds of two apps and I am happy with the decision.

    Indie does everything I need it to do, I don't need any extra bells and whistles.

    All The Best

    alex

  • RolfBjarneKvingeRolfBjarneKvinge USXamarin Team Xamurai
    edited March 2014

    In your price list you're comparing apples to oranges.

    Or more specifically using Xamarin's tools to create cross-platform apps versus doing nothing at all.

    What you need to compare is using Xamarin's tools against using some other vendor's tools.

    In other words what additional cost Xamarin introduces, and then the numbers change: the only additional cost is the Xamarin license. You'll have all the other costs anyway.

    If you're doing both Android and iOS development and you're an indie developer, you'll most likely do fine with the Indie licenses, which is currently $538,20/year for both Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android (if you buy both together).

    So your options are:

    • Code in Objective-C for iOS with Xcode + code in Java for Android with Eclipse + code in C# for Windows Phone with Visual Studio [1].
    • Pay $538,20/year and code in C# on all platforms.

    Do you really think that additional cost is too much?

    [1] I know there are other supposedly cross-platform tools out there, but you're not going to get anything cheaper than this.

  • rmaciasrmacias USBeta, University ✭✭✭✭✭

    For being a (former) Program Manager, he sure sucks at math and resource planning.

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭

    @rmacias‌ I'm 100% new to Xamarin, unfamiliar, and in the process of evaluating, no plans have been made. The only incorrect math here is based on incorrect understanding of the products - easy for the high and mighty experienced folks to see mistakes. If this is how noobs are treated, I pity this community. So typical.

    I haven't even installed Xamarin yet, I'm just gleaning what I can from the site, docs, and this community right now, rather than send a team member off in the weeds to spin something up in a direction we might not go. I'd say that's pretty wise planning, thank you.

    To everyone else, thank you for your feedback and insights thus far.

  • DaveHuntDaveHunt USMember ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2014

    @dapug,

    Noobs are generally treated pretty well here. It's just when a noob's second post in the forums is a thread titled "Xamarin should be free" that people get a little ruffled. ;-)

    Do some searching and you'll see that we get one of these threads from newcomers every few months.

    We do value your potential contributions to the forums, so please don't be put off by the responses here. They're not necessarily the best examples of the community at large or even of the respondents in this thread.

  • rmaciasrmacias USBeta, University ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2014

    Re-read your first and subsequent posts. You were being a jack @$$ with your incorrect rhetoric. It's great you're planning things out, but you had bad numbers, made incorrect assumptions, slammed Xamarin based on your bad data. You didn't even know that the VS Express Editions do not support 3rd party plug-ins (being a self-proclaimed MS PM, you should have known that). And yet you slammed Xamarin for not supporting the Express Editions. And then in addition, you seemed to insist that Xamarin sold licenses to develop on WP8. Well, they don't and development is done using Visual Studio (Express or above).

    You also included price of hardware (which can vary immensely) into the cost of Xamarin. This was incorrect as you would incur this cost no matter which framework you choose to use (native, or a competing framework). As another poster stated, you should have compared the cost of the Xamarin Licensing for what you need, vs the cost of using another framework (native, Titanium, Phone Gap, etc). Point being, you didn't do your homework and then came on here and started being abrasive towards everyone on here. And now that I and others have called you out on it, you're getting your feelings hurt. Well if your feelings are hurt, then tough! I'm not here to be a consoler. I'm usually hear to help others out with technical assistance, or in some cases, ask for technical assistance. By the way, the popcorn picture was a reference saying that you're not the first couch CEO/PM/CIO/etc to some on here and demand free software.

    All data is here and you just need to do a little homework and ask for clarification rather than making demands that Xamarin change their business model. If act like a jerk, some will treat you like one. So be nice, and you'll be treated how you want to be treated. And it is expected that you do the same in return. No hard feelings here. Just think about how you say thing and come off to people. If you don't care how you act, neither do I (I'm only speaking for myself).

    Software Costs for What You Need

    • Xamarin Indie License (Android + iOS). You get a 10% discount if you buy both together = $299 + $299 = $598 - 10% discount = $538.20 per developer per year.

    • Windows Phone 8 Dev = VS Express Free or VS Pro $499 = $0 to $499

    • Total Software One Time Costs = Between $0 to $499

    • Total Software Costs Per Developer Per Year = $538.20

    Software Costs for what you want (Visual Studio Support Within Xamarin)

    • Xamarin Business License (iOS + Andoird ) = $999 + $999 = $1998 - 10% = $1798.20

    • Windows Phone 8 Dev Using VS Pro = $499

    • Total One Time Cost = $499

    • Total Yearly Cost Per Developer Per Year = $1798.20

    Now hardware costs will vary. You will NEED a Mac no matter what if you're developing for iOS. Doesn't matter if you go native, Xamarin, Titanium, Phone Gap, etc. A Mac Mini is more than enough for development. And that costs $599 brand new, and a little less for a refurbished one at the Apple site.

    This isn't rocket science. All you had to do is use a little common sense and then ask your questions here like an adult. Yet you came on here demanding free software and that Xamarin change their business model to accommodate you.

    Welcome to the family! ;)

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭

    Given that I have obviously caused confusion, I really need to clarify:

    • I never said VS Express editions can use plugins (and yes, am quite aware of VS capabilities as stated). I can see how this became assumed though due to bad context and crossing subjects, sorry about that, truly. I had jumped the gun in my understanding of the role of XS.iOS and XS.Android in conjunction with also developing WP8 cross plat, also blurred the conversation across posts between XS Biz/Starter and VS Exp, and was not at all referring to plugin support.

    • I never insisted Xamarin sold WP8 tooling, in fact, the question was specifically asked about the role of XS as it pertains to Win platforms (never specifically answer, but other posts have since clarified).

    • My purpose in showing costs, including hardware, was woefully misunderstood and went sideways, hence the apples to oranges complaints. I wont even begin to try and correct or explain the merit of it. Sorry ya'll didn't catch my point. No big, lets move on.

    • I'm not demanding anything. Xamarin doesn't owe me a thing, and can ignore everything I have to say. They don't need to change their biz model for me, but I did suggest they consider a change for their own benefit (see also, last paragraph below) - not a demand. If my feedback came across as a demand, I apologize. FWIW, I do subscribe to the philosophy that all feedback is valuable.

    • I don't want free software. I think people deserve payment for great products. Huge proponent of that, and VERY disappointed that this thread feels like it went opposite. I want low barrier to entry and "pay as you grow", and I think that is good business and good strategy.

    All my mistakes are tied to my inexperience with Xamarin, requirements, and related licensing et all. Math wasn't the issue, but indeed, the facts and figures in the grand scheme were. I knew that, and even pointed it out hoping to lock the assessment down, yet got brutally attacked for it.

    And so, to bring it back to the actual title of the post...

    I digress that VS plugin should be "free". The title was intended to spark conversation - bad idea in the end. I maintain, however, that Xamarin can (and should) look at how to onramp people with a lower barrier to entry. Why not? For example, it would still cost a dev at least $1998 (or $1798.20), instead of $598 (or $538.20) if they want to do nothing more than use VS instead of or in addition to XS for coding. Meaning, if Xamarin scored my biz for 2x indie, is my use of VS plugin really worth that much more? - sure, maybe, but if so, why? whats to gain? not immediately obvious! That alone led me to my opening statement and title of this post, which explains my reaction, but I will bow out and say it doesn't excuse my approach to which some took offense. Sorry!

  • AlecTucker.2208AlecTucker.2208 AUInsider, University, Developer Group Leader mod

    David,

    There are a couple more things you could consider.

    Firstly, take a look at the BizSpark program that MS runs for startups (http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/). It's fantastic value providing you meet the entry criteria and is designed for exactly the scenario you describe. This would completely remove your MS software costs for the first three years and give you a version of Visual Studio which plays nicely with plug ins. If you're still around after that you can probably afford to pay.

    Secondly note that the Business edition of Xamarin includes a couple of .Net components which the cheaper versions do not, for example System.Data.SqlClient. Hover over "Business Features" on the pricing page at http://store.xamarin.com for more info, and I'm sure an email to [email protected] will answer any further questions you may have.

  • DeanChalkDeanChalk GBMember ✭✭

    OK - heres my 2p

    I'm a full time .NET freelancer (WPF) building enterprise .NET apps since 2001. I currently have successful Windows Store and Windows Phone apps (not under the Pinchscape banner so don't pay attention to my avatar on this forum).

    I'd like to create IOS and Android versions of my apps.
    Ideally I'd have the time and energy to learn IOS and Android programming to a high level, but that isn't going to happen, so Xamarin is the obvious choice.

    I've been playing with the trial and so far so good.

    However, for me having to slap down a couple of grand a year (rather than a couple of hundred bucks) just to use Visual Studio is an insult.

    I have Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate, a new top of the range Macbook Pro, a new top of the range Surface Pro 2, plus new(ish) versions of just about all the mobile devices on the market - so you can see my willingness to spend money on my business/passion is obvious - which is easy to understand when you consider that I haven't been out of work for a single day in over 8 years and my daily rate is over $1,200 .

    So why no Xamarin with Visual Studio ? Simple - its a rip off !!!

    Lets hope Microsoft buy Xamarin, and this great (but hugely overpriced) tech gets folded into the MSDN subscriptions (or even better - is free)

  • monoclemonocle KHMember

    I am considering of getting licenses to Xamarin Business. The first surprise was that it costs $999 per platform rather than $999 for both iOS and Android; however, kudos to Xamarin team for not charging royalty fees per app deployment and I hope the company will not go into this direction.

    I'm sure the price has been studied by Xamarin; however, if you guys should try offering a sale of $999 for both platforms for a limited time, I'm sure a lot of people will get it. I mean, if you get more than twice the sales at 50% discount, you'll make more profit, and developers spend less individually. It's a win-win situation.

    Anyway... I am aware of the $28M funding of Xamarin, and this is a lot money that needs to recoup. Each platform needs separate development efforts, so I somewhat understand the costs.

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭

    Guys, this thread has been horrifically misunderstood as a complaint about high cost of Xamarin. That is not at all the case.

    The proposal of a free VS plugin has nothing to do with lowering the cost, or profits for Xamarin. It has to do with onramping and skew strategy.

    Xamarin limits the size of your app in it's free edition - so in reality, whether you have a FREE plugin and used VS or not for actual coding makes no hill of beans difference in the grand scheme - you're still on track to pay for Xamarin licenses down the road as you get serious about app building. THAT is the point of "VS plugin should be FREE". I agree with many of the points made by others (despite the fact that they woefully misunderstood and abused the crap out of me here) such as the fact that Xamarin has great value and is a lower cost to cross platform dev than probably anything else in the industry.

    Maybe there is something else Xamarin should consider that applies only to enterprise folks (team workflow, advanced debugging, profiling, etc) that can be withheld for biz edition. Coding in VS doesn't feel like enterprise-only at all, as many/most independents use VS (we're coding C# for heaven sakes). This is the rub. Not rocket science indeed.

  • wallymwallym USInsider, Beta ✭✭✭

    Any just to be clear, I'm not trying to create or extend an argument. I think that there are some marketplace factors that are important.

    And yes, I do agree with you (once again) about the feel of the Xamarin "enterprise" offerings.

  • DanielHarmanDanielHarman USUniversity

    I actually agree with dapug here and know people not using xamarin because of the cost structure.

    Firstly I don't see the point in having a time limited trial period given that all apps built during the trial expire on device after a day. Why stop hobbyists dipping in and out of the product over whatever time period suits and then if they finally make something they can ship or what to demo to people for more than a day, they buy a license. That change will get people skilled in the tool set and using it. I can only see it making more money for xamarin.

    Secondly the fact you need the professional license for the VS integration is something that pretty much no one likes, and the only reason you don't see so much moaning on here is because so many people got grandfathered in.

    It all feels like it went wrong after the VCs got involved!

    I also agree with the point that a lot of the xamarin experience is generally pretty flakey. It makes me nervous how many probs I have on a day to day basis backing this horse for an enterprise app.

    Was kind of hoping MS was going to announce a buyout at build and this could all have got resolved.

  • DanielHarmanDanielHarman USUniversity

    Of course you can see how it ended up like this - its a classic market segmentation dilema. Clearly large corps can afford the 2k a year (although they get volume discounts unlike the poor 2 man indies ironic really). So the question xamarin obviously faced was how to we create a tier that they will buy so we don't leave money on the table. Unfortunately the only thing they had that is convincing is VS integration - I don't think those extra components would swing many buyers.

    Its a bad decision thats bred a lot of bad will to xamarin, but I can see exactly how they got there!

    I do hope it gets re-evald soon though, as whenever I look at news reports on xamarin stuff there are people bringing these things up in the comments. Its gone from a bunch of plucky upstarts to a company that a noticeable number of people have a negative vibe about. Its a shame though as clearly no one working at xamarin deserves that.

  • JPaulDuncanJPaulDuncan USMember

    As a hobbyist, your app better be awesome to cover the price for this thing, because it takes a lot to recoup $1000 per platform (assuming I truly want to leverage my existing development environment). But I guess who cares about the little guy, huh?

  • RODRIGOCOLPANIRODRIGOCOLPANI USMember

    Talking about business..
    Analyzing the new generation of development and social things..

    Today, when you have a powerful tool that can reach a lot of people and it is cheaper than a hot dog or it is free, you are closer to be the next guy on the list to get your billions of dollars on pocket.

    Selling a million of licenses by year.. by 9,90$ Month, will generate a big fortune in the eyes of social community.. and the potencial of your business will be so large that some big company will offer to you billions for that..

    Think small, be small..

    Today, nothing can be done for a specific part of people..in this case for the RICH ones..
    I doubt that you guys can sell that much of licenses.. but this is yours policy.. sell less for a expensive price.

    Xamarin have a community with 600k more developers.. What a potential!!

    .$..Sell a lot of indies!!. $ Indie license have a good price!!$! .. puff!! don't worth a cent.
    You guys can fire yours stones.. but who really pay for that? you certainly prefer to expend you time and your money in others things...

    Microsoft need to buy the Xamarin for starts to worth it.
    They have eye for Business and for Social Community.

    Think beyond.. and more beyond..
    Get out of the BOX!!
    Free your system!!

    Regards,
    RC.

  • dannyg86dannyg86 IEMember

    I agree that the visual studio plugin should be available to all teirs. Limit the build host facility sure, but let us use VS.

    Another point to factor in here... Xamarin supporting and maintaining Xamarin studio seems like a high maintenance burden. I understand that Mac doesn't support VS so they have to offer something for Mac users, but VS really is the king.

    The thing that gets my goat is that MSDN bizspark subscribers are excluded from the MSDN discount offer. Why? These are the people who need it most. I really do not understand why Bizspark members are excluded. Seems like a kick in the nuts and an intent of making the barrier to entry higher for startups?

    My 2c

  • nodoidnodoid GBMember, Beta ✭✭✭

    Let's get this into perspective shall we.

    How much is a subscription to MSDN? Not free. How much is VS? Not free. How quickly does MS or Apple or Google fix the bugs that are sent back to them? Not quickly (or in some cases, ever). While Bizspark does offer a free subscription, Xamarin does not have the deep pockets of MS. Does Apple give Xcode away for free? Yes and no. Yes, you can download it, but without having first bought a Mac, you can't use it (I'm excluding hackintoshes here), so your copy of Xcode could actually be around the $3500 mark in reality (and Xcode really is an unpleasant piece of kit!),

    I have absolutely no objections to paying for my Xamarin business licences - and yes, $2000 a year is not cheap. However, I know that I'm going to get top notch support, a pretty quick turn around with bug reports and a constant development line so when iOS 8 or Android L comes out, I will be able to use it from day 1. This is what I pay for and this is what my business relies on

    Would I get that as a free plug in? I doubt it as without the revenue line of the licences, the hugely talented guys at Xamarin would not be in business and we'd be back to eating dung for breakfast and smashing our heads against the wall with the insanity that is Java and unfriendliness that is ObjC.

    As for why MSDN subscribers don't get a few subscription - I would imagine it will have been down to the negotiations between MS and Xamarin. If Xamarin gets $300 from MS for each Bizspark and needs (say) $600 per user to make a profit, then they have to find that $300 from elsewhere to be able to run it. No company does something to run at a loss.

    While I also agree that the limitations of the indie licence are a bit of a barrier, they are only the same sort of barrier as MS puts in place with the knee-capped versions of VS they put out.

    I completely agree with Wally over Phonegap. It's free and you get what you pay for on it which in my experience is something close to dire.

    At the end of the day you have to weigh it up. Do you endure the pain of Java/ObjC native or with some plugin or other to make it look a bit nicer, do you pay for an MSDN subscription (which is costly), do you pay for Apple Support (which is awfully costly) or do you buy Xamarin which while it's not cheap is far more productive than the other routes (IMO)

  • dapugdapug USMember ✭✭
    edited July 2014

    I would like to suggest to readers that they refer to my post at the top of this page (2), wherein I also summarize here:

    • Nobody (at least not me, who started the thread) is asking for a free lunch. Xamarin needs to and should be paid for their awesomeness.
    • There is a restriction on app size applied globally across WHATEVER you build, so why restrict tooling? (herein is essence of the "free" plugin request)
    • The VS plugin is about preference on coding IDE. But the real money is in the platform license, which Xamarin still captures you on, and rightfully so. (re: prior bullet)

    Making these changes only helps Xamarin by exposing their awesomeness to more people regardless of ones IDE preference, who, when they get serious about building a real app (i.e. > 32KB) are absolutely ready and willing to pay Xamarin to jump on board the awesome.

    As it happens in my current case, I have a dev team that decided to go another route and not even try out Xamarin because our "evaluation" plans include building a proof of concept, wherein we:

    • want to use the tools we already have (VS, regardless of how you got it, Biz Spark or otherwise)
    • want to evaluate things in the way and environment we intend to use long term (not indie, then switch to VS later, which then requires project restructuring!)
    • need more than 30 days

    It is a shame to have Xamarin lose out in this way, and is a major opportunity for them if they were simply aware and make an easy, small tweak in strategy, and that was the very cause for me to come here and start this thread. It has nothing to do with "I want a free lunch".

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