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  • dannyg86dannyg86 IEMember
    edited July 2014

    @dapug‌ exactly. No one is asking for Xamarin to be free here. We just want to be able to use Visual Studio with the indie license. Limit the build host to biz only, thats fine, but let us use the IDE thay we are familiar with.

    I see the worth of the biz license, but don't need it yet, but i do need visual studio. Anyway....

  • DaveHuntDaveHunt USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    Limit the build host to biz only, thats fine. But let us use the IDE thay we are familiar with.

    Without the build host, the VS plugin is useless as you can't build an iOS project without it.

    I don't see the VS plugin (with build host) as a "business" feature. If Xamarin Studio for Windows allowed developing iOS applications, it might be different, but since it doesn't, you need the plugin to get the same functionality you would get if you developed on Mac. Otherwise, Xamarin Studio may as well be a Mac-only IDE.

    That being said, Xamarin's argument is, since you have to have a Mac to build iOS applications anyway, you can develop your iOS app on the Mac using Xamarin Studio with the Indie license. Thus, they consider the plugin a "business" feature.

    Since you can use XS on the Mac (which you already have to own) and avoid paying the extra bucks, it's hard to argue.

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

    Actually, the idea of being able to use VS in the Indie license to EDIT (and NOT to also BUILD) the projects makes sense.
    I am currently very happy to do my work in VS but building seems to go faster in XS. So, I am actually not building from VS at all. For me it is the ability of using ReSharper, quickly refactor and better intellisense (be it real or just perceived).

    I could see the Business license level promoting the ability to build from VS, or to do headless/CI project builds. To me seems an enough of a product differentiator.

  • DouglasCoxDouglasCox USMember

    Well, not to revive a dead-ish thread, but I will say my excitement level about Xamarin and getting to use C# to make some cross platforms apps has gone from being super excited, to browsing for new books on Java Android development after reading this thread.

    Xamarin obviously has a completely different idea of what "Indie" means than what I'm used to it seems. I may could see my initial apps maybe paying for a single-platform (1 year) license of XS Indie. But the whole point was to use it to make something cross platform, so to do that I need to spend another $300 and purchase a Mac?

    Or my other option seems to be to spend $999 * 2 for the "Business" edition plus $500 on VS 2013 Pro? Do I still need a Mac if I'm just trying to use VS on a PC with the plugin? If not, this is the option that appeals to me the most, but $2000/year + $500 is just not possible.

    It's also seems a bit odd that if all I wanted to do was write a few components to sell to other Xamarin users, I have to basically do exactly this same thing.

    Ideally I could pay $300 (or less) for 1 platform for Xamarin Studio and then upgrade that to support a second platform (maybe $200 per additional platform) and not have to buy Visual Studio at all. Is this even something that is being considered or is there some barrier that prevents XS on a PC from doing what the VS plugin does?

    I'm more than willing to pay $200-300 for something that I can extended for roughly the same price to a second platform to stay on PC, but if it's going to take $2500 to do this I will certainly not be using Xamarin which is sad because I like the IDE and love C#.

  • DeanChalkDeanChalk GBMember ✭✭

    I think Xamarin need to be very careful about how they play the game here. I've just spent $2000 on business edition in order for me to take advantage of some very specific opportunities where I wouldn't have enough time to create native apps for the 3 mobile platforms, so it makes sense. Outside of that opportunity I simply wouldn't pay that kind of money - period. I am pretty well connected on LinkedIn and know a LOT of developers who are .NET developer freelancers like me and they wouldn't pay for it either (unless there was a very specific project that would make it financially worthwhile). I don't see anyone hooking up with Xamarin to become Xamarin certified because that costs ANOTHER $2000 per year (you have to take the university to be allowed to take the exams - of course). I understand that we have all gotta make money, but the opportunities for developers to make money are severely limited in a world full of great open-source (free) software and free mobile apps now being the norm - so it's gonna be hard for anyone to justify these types of costs. Of course businesses can afford that kind of money, but it's the indie developers that drive this marketplace, and the innovation that happens within it. It will only take someone like Microsoft or Oracle to release some similar tools for free (it'll happen one day) and Xamarin will be no more - overnight.
    Xamarin have 680,000 'users', but how many of those are paying customers ? I'd bet about 1-2% max, with the rest being devs who've tried the 30 day trial, looked at the prices then said NO!

    Not getting the pricing right seems like a wasted opportunity to make a whole lot more money, and have a much stronger community.

  • MattHarvsMattHarvs AUMember

    I have to agree completely with @DeanChalk‌, as a recent uni graduate who has learned a lot of C# in their course with developing windows apps, I'm now trying to utilise my C# skills and know-how for developing Android (and possibly iOS) apps without having to go and all the learn different languages and development tools, I have come to look into using Xamarin.

    Unfortunately the pricing model used by Xamarin is quite prohibitive for Indies and for I believe for some businesses as well. I would like to see some serious changes in the pricing structure for Xamarin, especially into possibly an à la carte structure where you pay for what you need on either a month-by-month basis, or even prepaid on 6-monthly and 12-monthly instalments. This is what Microsoft has now done with Visual Studio online, so I can now use VS2013 pro without having wait and save up to buy the expensive perpetual edition.

    I loved the 30-day business trial and the ability to integrate with VS, but having to pay $700 extra for the privilege, per platform annually, I think is quite outrageous, especially if I'm not going to utilise the other features available in the business plan.

  • AlexWhiteAlexWhite GBMember ✭✭✭

    I know where you guys are coming from, here is my take on things, I have been writing software for more than 20 years, I was a MS gold partner for 10 years so got all the tools as part of the deal so spent most of every day inside visual studio, I originally purchased the business edition of Xamarin but downgraded in year two to the indie version I took the view that I did not need the VS integration I am happy swapping my code between platforms as I seem to spend weeks in the XS then weeks in the VS so it works well for me, all of the extras in the business edition I don't need, the only thing I miss is the ability to email software Q's.

    On the indie side I think Xamarin is priced ok, I have a couple of apps on the app store that pay me more per month than the indie costs me per year so not worried about the price, I do think the free edition needs to be opened up a bit more in terms of size of app so that reasonable size apps can be written with it with the idea that once you need to build for the app store you need at least the indie version to create those builds, e.g. Adhoc and store builds are not capable in the free version.

    The idea of using my original C# projects in Xamarin has paid for all the tools many times over, a project I spent two years writing in C# for windows, was ported across to Xamarin in less than a day, so well happy.

    End of the day Xamarin have to make money to pay for good developers to keep working on the tools, so pricing has to work for Xamarin.

  • I am planning to port a WP app to Android and later to iOS. Xamarin was going to be my choice. But I dont want to invest $500+ on tools when I dont see any returns. $500/yr is a big investment for a hobbyist. I think the model is broken. How can a guy making a couple of grand a year compare to guy getting a couple of dozens a year. Not fair!!

    Bizspark from MS is a good starting point but Xamarin still charge a lot even after the discount, My suggestion is to charge $50 for the first app. The developer after that can comapre his experiences and then pay more for building subsequent apps.
    Push comes to shove learn Java. Java is an ugly cousin of C# . I used it in 1990's and early 2000 and may have to brush up. Cheers!

  • OnTheBubbleOnTheBubble USMember

    Curious to hear Xamarin's response to UE4 going free. Trusting you'll make more money giving it away for free because it's an awesome product (like Xamarin very much appears to be) plus exploding your user base versus squeezing dollars up front. The current pricing model feels like the early micro-trans games that had painful pay walls. Studios are learning that games that are fun to play first and that monetize second surprisingly make more money. Would this also be true for Xamarin? I would certainly be more willing to download and try and then pay for the Indie version if Forms was in it. Epic Games also did something interesting, before it went free(!), where you paid $20/mo but you could cancel your subscription at any point but keep using the software - just without updates. If you wanted the latest and greatest, you had to get back on the subscription. This takes a lot of pressure off of people who just want to pay $25 to play with Xamarin but don't want to feel rushed into doing all their hobbying within a 30 day window.

  • MichaelBothMichaelBoth AUMember ✭✭✭

    Trusting you'll make more money giving it away for free...

    Sometimes I wonder if people even think before they post.

    It's not Xamarin's responsibility to make creating apps a profitable business, that's down to the developer. What I see in the mobile apps space is lots of wanna-be or amateur developers jumping on the bandwagon of trying to make a lot of money from some badly-implemented or poorly-thought-out concept that sells many copies for a couple of bucks, and if they can't then they start to blame whoever is selling the tool they want to use. This is fundamentally dreadful and 'bottom of the barrel' approach to making software.

    $500/yr is a big investment for a hobbyist.

    Hobbies are option pursuits - if you can't afford it, choose another hobby.

    But I dont want to invest $500+ on tools when I dont see any returns.

    Making a return on your investment is your problem to solve, not Xamarin's.

  • AlexWhiteAlexWhite GBMember ✭✭✭

    @MichaelBoth I could not agree more, writing software is a risk esp if you are trying to make money out of it, I have spent more than 20 years making money out of software development Xamarin is no different to all the other tools I have used at some point you have to pay to get the extras out of tools I think Xamarin have got their pricing and structure about right I would say that the only thing that should be included in the indie that is not is the profiling tools because that is not an enterprise feature IMHO, but that is only my view.

    My first year with Xamarin tools I did not make a penny but all subsequent years I make more per month than the tools cost per year, so well worth it for me.

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