A Comfortable Couch

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

MSDN woes

I thought that by joining the MS Empower ISV program (which includes a MSDN Universal subscription) I would get every piece of development software MS makes. However, it appears one very necessary component to my project, the Windows Installable File System (IFS) Kit, is not included. It costs $899, ouch.

I called up Jim (my MS Empower contact) about it and he told me to contact "Fulfillment" and gave me the phone #. I contacted "fulfillment", the lady on the phone said should couldn't find the product in their database. A little more digging, I found this on the IFS Ordering FAQ page:

Q: Why doesn't the IFS Kit get included with MSDN Universal?

A: There are a variety of reasons why the IFS Kit is not included with MSDN. The license agreement for the kit is different than the normal MSDN license for one. Though we are considering it for future releases. To provide feedback on this please contact us at Feedback

So I've sent them an email, asking them if there is anyway I can get it cheaper. In the mean time, I went to download the Windows DDK, just to get a peek at how much work it is to write a full fledged file system driver. I went the MS partner downloads site, found the DDK download page after much hunting, and clicked the download link. Nothing happens. I click repeatedly. Nothing. I disable popup blocking and try again. Nothing. I restart IE and try again. Nothing. I figure maybe it has something to do with XP SP2, so then I try using Firefox. To my amazement, the pages load (although they behave a little weird). I click the download link. Surprise! It works. I'm still not sure what was happening with IE. Odd.

I also found OSR, who's bread and butter appears to be driver development tools and consulting. I've also sent an email to sales at OSR regarding the pricing of their File Systems Development Kit (FSDK), I couldn't find it on the web site. Maybe I'll be able to convince them to give it to me for free, because I have a friendly face and because I'm probably going to open source Couch anyway. We'll see...

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