According to a newswire published in SD Times, Embarcadero is starting to sell a low-cost, limited version of Delphi from $149. This confirms rumors and past announcements of a low-cost edition of Delphi being true. The same deal is announced also for C++Builder. This is a very significant alternative to the existing versions, as the price is significantly lower, more on par with the "Turbo Delphi" versions sold a few years back and later discontinued. The article claims 199 USD for a new license and 149 USD for upgrades, which seems to very liberal to get (from "any competing IDE or application development tool"). I'm guessing it will convert to 149 Euros.
In terms of features , these "entry-level versions offer hundreds of components for creating user interfaces, touch-enablement, grids, Office-style ribbon controls and other Windows controls; more than 120 Internet protocols and Internet standards; and IDE Insight, the fastest way to find and execute commands with one-click." This sounds similar to a Professional version, but it is hard to tell from this very short description.
The article covers in detail some of the "legal limitations" , like "up to five licenses running simultaneously within their network" and that developers and companies can use them until their "annual license or service revenue exceeds $1,000 USD ". This sounds very interesting for developers living in countries with limited wages, very easy to reach in Europe and North America. Still, at the point the article claims you'll be able to upgrade to the full version with a 100 USD discount, which is almost the amount of money originally spent on the Started Edition upgrade.
On the official Delphi Editions page on Embarcadero web site, there is still no mention of this new edition of the product, while a newsgroup thread started yesterday and referring to the SD Times article has no official posting from Embarcadero employees. But it is interesting that Dmitry (of da-soft) comment starting the thread was "Dreams come true!". Good point. And David I is referenced in the SD times article saying " At an entry-level price, Delphi and C++Builder Starter provide individual developers and start-up companies with powerful functionality to build native Windows applications fast. " Very true!
I really think this announcement (if officially confirmed) will be very positive for the Delphi community and it will contribute increasing the number of developers using Delphi, and push the entire ecosystem.
PS. I should probably get a "Delphi Starter Ebook" out there, but probably have too many pending projects for now.
Update: Official Announcement
There is now an official announcement at: www.andreanolanusse.com/blogen/delphi-xe-and-cbuilder-xe- starter-editions-officially-announced/ and a specific page on the Embarcadero web site with all the details and the feature matrix with the technical limitations at www.embarcadero.com/products/delphi/starter.