Microsoft’s Visual Studio Online Now Lets Developers Add Unlimited Stakeholders For Free

Microsoft says it now has over 1.5 million users on Visual Studio Online, its hosted application lifecycle management service. Today, it is launching a new (and free) license for the service that makes it easier for developers to add extra stakeholders to a project who don’t need full access to the code but need to keep up to date with a project.

During the early days — while VS Online was still in its beta — users were able to add as many other free accounts as they wanted. Since the service came out of beta, there was a cost attached to adding new users. As Microsoft’s corporate vice president of its Developer division S. “Soma” Somasegar notes today, “there are many users within the organization who are stakeholders in a development project, but not core members of the project.”

Those stakeholders could be in management, or contributors who want to report a bug while a service is still in development.

As the company previously announced, these stakeholders will get access to most features of Visual Studio online that don’t directly touch the code and admin functions. They will, however, be able to access project and team home pages, create and edit work items, and see the project’s backlog.

“We want it to be friction-free for all users across the organization to contribute to any software development projects they have a business interest in,” writes Somasegar.