Microsoft vs TestDriven.Net Express
There are a few things I need to get off my chest.
When I started working on TestDriven.Net I was a hobbyist .NET developer. My day job was as a Java consultant. TestDriven.Net was something I did for fun between consultancy gigs. Working on open source projects can be a great way to learn a new technology. I enjoyed being part of the fledgling .NET community and positive reception TestDriven.Net (then NUnitAddIn) was getting.
When TestDriven.Net 1.0 was released I was still hobbyist .NET developer. It was only natural that I use the Express SKU which was being targeted at other hobbyist developers. In fact I developed the whole of TestDriven.NET 1.0 using C# Express, MSBuild and WiX (as described in this post).
A few months after TestDriven.Net 1.0 was released I was given the MVP award by Microsoft. According to Ben Miller (my then MVP lead) I was "very well known" for having created TestDriven.Net. As far as I'm aware this was the primary reason I received the award.
On Dec 1, 2005 I received an email from Jason Weber the lead for the Visual Studio IDE and Visual Studio SDK. Apparently Jason wanted to better understand my product and strategy. It was clear from the email subject that Jason incorrectly assumed TestDriven.Net was a VSIP Package. The interesting thing about VSIP packages being that they require a special key from Microsoft in order to function.
This is where the story begins. I'm not going to summarize what happened. I'm going to give you all the information so you can make up your own mind.
- The first set of emails are between Dec 1, 2005 and Mar 30, 2006. They culminate in a teleconference between Craig Symonds (the General Manager for Visual Studio), Grant Drake, Jason Weber (who doesn't say a word) and myself.
- The second set of emails are between March 31, 2006 and Apr 17, 2007. They culminate with Jason finally letting me know which license I'm supposedly in breach of (the Express EULA). I'm still none the wiser about which clause.
- Finally I receive two letters (delivered by motorcycle courier) from Microsoft's UK lawyers. For the first time ever I am told which exact clause I'm supposedly in breach of. The second letter lets me know that they are reading my weblog and the TestDrivenUsers group.
Less than a year ago I was still a hobbyist .NET developer. I created TestDriven.Net as a tool for myself and something that I hoped other .NET developers would find useful. I have no intention of selling out and giving in to this kind of petty bullying without a fight.
Update: I received another letter on May 31, 2007.
Update: Fixed the email formatting when viewed in IE.