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Microsoft Software

Microsoft Launches Visual Studio Express, VS 2005 Beta 541

An anonymous reader writes "At the TechEd Europe keynote today, Microsoft launched Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1. With it, they also released a set of five 'Express Editions' of Visual Studio. These currently free applications offer a student and hobbyist-oriented version of Visual Studio, and are available in C#, C++, VB, Web Developer, and SQL flavors. Each download weighs in at right around 50MB and features tools, documentation, and starter kits. There's been multiple posts and more information on this announcement over at MSDN Blogs, too." Update: 06/29 13:57 GMT by S : A clarification from the Express FAQ: Although the Beta Express products are currently free to download: "We have not announced pricing and licensing and will not do so until next calendar year."
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Microsoft Launches Visual Studio Express, VS 2005 Beta

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  • by Mourgos ( 621534 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:50AM (#9559467)
    What is the difference between this and the full version of Visual Studio?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:51AM (#9559486)
    Man, and I was already having bad feelings about asking my company to shell out the $15000 for 5 licenses of VS.Net. This doesn't help.
  • by Progman3K ( 515744 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:53AM (#9559496)
    Does it run under Linux?

    Nope, this is NOT a troll; the earlier versions of Microsoft Developer Studio didn't run under Linux, at least nut under Wine.

    Since I've abandoned Windows, but must still develop software for it, I am really curious to know if this WILL run under Linux/Wine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:53AM (#9559503)
    Remember that part of early MS-DOS's success was the fact that "debug" and qbasic came with it. Granted, they are primitive tools compared to today but it did hook a lot of early developers into that platform.
  • by nontrivial ( 222436 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:55AM (#9559528) Homepage
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Microsoft on one hand selling customized and stripped versions of thier products (both Visual Studio Express here and XP Starter Edition in Thailand) and on the other hand railing against courts requiring them to do the exact same thing here and in Europe? Furthermore, didn't they say it would be impossible or at least extremely dificult to do what they are doign now in the US court they got out of?
  • by motown ( 178312 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:57AM (#9559552)

    I've been wanting to try out Nokia's free (GCC-based) SDK for Series 60 Symbian platforms, but it requires Visual Studio, which I'm not prepared to buy.

    There was a website out there somewhere that explained how to set up the SDK on a Linux system, but it was quite a hassle. And the emulator (which is necessary for debugging) didn't run under Linux anyway.

    Although I'd be disappointed to boot Windows once more after having used Linux exclusively for some time now, I'd really like to do some serious Series 60 development.

    Perhaps it will soon be possible to combine Nokia's SDK with both ReactOS and this free Visual Studio version. At least I'd still be working on a mostly open-source development platform, then! :D

    By the way, if anybody can give me some pointers on setting up the Nokia SDK without having to rely on Visual Studio (and if possible without having to use any Microsoft software) while still being able to use a debugger, then please let me know, even though this is blatently off-topic. :)
  • by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:59AM (#9559577)
    Will the EULA allow development of commercial products? Lots of "hobby" or "student" projects end up for sale or as shareware. Will people making that switch then have to buy the real thing?

    Everyone should just download Eclipse and MinGW instead. If these aren't up to snuff then fix the problem - you're a software developer after all....

  • by Zepalesque ( 468881 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:59AM (#9559578)
    Or you can use this fine dot NET development enviornment.

    Free [icsharpcode.net]
  • Not "free" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GSV Ethics Gradient ( 779784 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:00AM (#9559586)
    Note that the Beta is free but the final product won't be:
    We have not announced pricing and licensing and will not do so until next calendar year. For the time being, we can tell you that the Express Editions will be low-cost and will continue to be easy to acquire.
    So it will depend on the MS definition of "low-cost". I can't see any distribution limits like the old student editions that cannot be used to create commercial (or even free) software - are they hiding in there somewhere?
  • Not really (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Safety Cap ( 253500 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:01AM (#9559592) Homepage Journal
    I develop servlets on my Windows b0xx3n, then deploy 'em to the *nix hardware. Locally WIndows because IT only knows how to support MS, and all the business drones couldn't do without IE ("the internet") and Outlook ("the email"). We Who Know Better use a heavy-duty OS for serving apps to the web/intranet.
  • by gracefool ( 649481 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMgracefool.com> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:03AM (#9559611) Homepage Journal
    In fact, it doesn't even run on earlier versions of Windows; it requires at least Windows 2000 or XP.
  • Avalon/XAML (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:05AM (#9559631)
    Are these technologies covered by these tools?
  • by Merlin42 ( 148225 ) * on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:05AM (#9559637)
    Just tried in crossover office v3.0.1 and the installer fails with an extremely obtuse message:
    A problem has been encountered while loading the setup
    components. Cancelling setup.
  • by foidulus ( 743482 ) * on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:08AM (#9559670)
    XCode is probably more analgous to this release than open source *nix tools. Apple distributes XCode free with Panther(and an updated version will come out with Tiger). It is free as in beer, but not open source. However, the panther release probably isn't as nice as Visual Studio, here is hoping they improve some stuff in 2.0...
    However, you can release commercial code with XCode if you so desire. Although it doesn't have BASIC or C#, it does have support for Java, applescript, and more.
    Feh, I still think I will stick with XCode.
  • by nessus42 ( 230320 ) <doug@alFREEBSDum.mit.edu minus bsd> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:15AM (#9559729) Homepage Journal
    I'm not a software dev but is it common for people to develop on a platform different than the one they are developing for?
    I develop for Windows under Linux because I find Linux much easier to use than Windows. I do so using Python and Tkinter. Code written using these is typically quite portable.


  • WINE compatibility (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DFossmeister ( 186254 ) <foss_donald@NoSPAm.yahoo.com> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:16AM (#9559739) Homepage
    I think this is actually a great idea. If the developers did their work under WINE, and tested their work under WINE, then it would work under regular Windows and WINE too, thus having a wider area of acceptance and less work for the WINE guys to do, fewer corner cases for them to code around.

    On top of all this, I'm sure that since WINE is user space, you would not be able to crash your entire OS like you can still do with any Windows OS and messed up software.
  • by Mitleid ( 734193 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:24AM (#9559807)
    ...as I've recently downloaded and fell in love with a nifty little free program called SharpDevelop [icsharpcode.net] as I've wanted to build some VB applications for a while now but just have no desire to pay so much for a development environment that should be free in the first place. My philosophy is that a development environment encourages use of a particular platform, and while I understand that it costs money to put them together, you're going to get much better developer support in the future if you release your toolsets for free. I mean, look at the various FPS and Neverwinter Nights modding communities. Yes, while mods are not always a commercial product like a software package built in Visual C++ or something, they still build a great deal of support for the initial program and extend it's usefullness for quite some time.

    Anyway, I'll quite babling and just say that I think it's about time Microsoft did something like this. I've always been baffled that a Visual Studio suite runs upwards of $1000, and the lesser versions still can cost a few hundred. Right now I'm considering developing a database app to use as a MySQL front end for a small company I'm doing IS work for, and at first SharpDevelop was my only option (though it looks like I might stick with it; it's an incredible program) at least until a VB dev environment is COMPLETELY FREE. The only problem now is I have to decide whether to learn .NET, Visual C++, or C#. Ah, decisions decisions. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but SharpDevelop doesn't support pure unadaulterated VB...)

    ...yes, I would learn C++ or something otherwise, but time is of the essence right now. If any seasoned Windows developers have any suggestions for a plan of attack I'd love to hear it.
  • by His name cannot be s ( 16831 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:24AM (#9559812) Journal
    I'm suprised at how "expensive" people feel Visual Studio is.

    As a professional developer, I use both VS.net 2003 and Eclipse (3.0m9) almost every day.

    Last year, I worked pretty close with an MS consultant on a project, and he let me in on a few things.

    Microsoft only prices the software high so that people give them a percieved value. The consulting groups then turn around and hand out copies of VS.NET,SQL Server and Win2k3 like candy at halloween.

    18 months or so ago, There was an article about MS giving away VS.NET CDs at some university, and people started asking about the licensing. The answer generally was "go ahead and use it"... Which illustrates MS's position on devloper tools. Get them into the hands of the users, don't worry about making money on them.

    Another effect of this mentality, is the VS.NET installer has a spot for a product key, but it is disabled, thereby allowing anyone to install the product over and over.

    Microsoft will likely price the Express editions at $100 +/- $50 , and then proceed to give them away in cereal boxes :)

    My 2c+GST.
  • Re:RAD? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:35AM (#9559902)
    The problem with prototyping tools as good as VB is that you end up using the work you did for the prototype as the "real" program.

    I took an HCI course not too long ago at university, and _everyone_ (including us) who did prototyping with VB ended up using it for the final program. To be fair, this worked pretty well - but it was only for a lowly kiosk program. I'm sure it would have been much faster if we had rewritten the whole thing in C or C++.

    But, yeah, VB is pretty damn good if you need to get something done in a hurry, or prototype rapidly.

  • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:40AM (#9559965) Homepage
    I believe MSDN Universal is only around $375

    While you are certainly entitled to your belief, I fear that you are wrong, by almost a order of magnitude.

    An MSDN Universal subscription from Microsoft [microsoft.com] runs $2,799 (new subscription)... however they can be had for much less if you look on eBay [ebay.com] for instance.

    If a Subscription was $375 I'd have one myself instead of using the stripped versions (and cheap) I have been using for side projects.
  • Re:RAD? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by amliebsch ( 724858 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:41AM (#9559984) Journal
    "So you can't write Linux apps on it" This is incorrect. I have personally written a VB.NET console app, compiled it, and run the compiled app on a Linux box using MONO. It worked beautifully, and I could even use ANSI codes!
  • by kahei ( 466208 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:47AM (#9560061) Homepage

    Those without the time to understand the various quirks of the various new forms of VS may be glad of this update: at time of writing, vim [vim.org] is still free.

    I do approve of C# and .NET though. One interesting thing is that the _more_ someone likes/needs Visual Studio, the _less_ they tend to actually know about CLI and COM...

  • Re:A smart move (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:53AM (#9560174)
    This strikes me as a smart move. How many here discovered Linux while looking for a development platform as a student?
    Microsoft are attempting to lock students in, probably even before they hit tertiary education.

    While I don't deny that it's obvious that Microsoft are making their products available free or cheap because they want students to choose Microsoft rather than Linux, it's worth noting that one of the options on the registration page, under "what areas are you interested in", is "Linux interoperability".

    That's right - Microsoft are collecting information on how many of the people downloading this tool care about whether their code will be portable to Linux. I don't know if that's at all significant, but it struck me as interesting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:07AM (#9560347)
    Actually, the new project file format is XML based and documented, a conversion from the old format which was undocumented.

    The reason they switched to an XML based file format is because of the new MSBuild build engine that ships with VS 2005. This allows developers to use the command line to build their projects in the same way that VS does, a huge improvement over previous versions.
  • by yopie ( 470181 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:44AM (#9560741)
    From VS 2005 Documentation:
    "ASP.NET allows you to create Web pages that are compliant with XHTML 1.0 Transitional standards. XHTML is a W3C standard that defines HTML as an XML document. Creating Web pages that are compliant with XHTML standards guarantees that the elements in the pages are well formed. Because browsers are moving toward supporting XHTML, creating pages that conform to XHTML standards helps ensure that your pages will be compatible with browsers in the future. XHTML is also extensible, allowing the definition of new elements. Finally, an XHTML page is much easier to read programmatically for situations in which the Web page is processed by a computer, and the document can be manipulated using transformations. For more information about XHTML and the XHTML standards, see the W3C site at www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1."
  • by EvanED ( 569694 ) <evaned@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:24PM (#9561183)
    This is true, but...

    I go to PSU. For a while students got a number of pieces of software (VS.NET, WinXP, Office, FrontPage, ec.) for free. I realize that our technology services fee was probably a bit higher because of it (and if not something else was), but on the other hand, not *that* many students got them, so the price to PSU was much less than just 40,000 * (educational price). Thus other students were significantly subsidizing my software cost.

    And in turn I help to subsidize their athletic programs, or whatever, so it works both ways.
  • Re:Sweet! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:37PM (#9561341) Homepage Journal
    Here's the question I have, and no I haven't done a lot of research into .NET. But with MFC, a simple FTP program or HTTP page tearer took several hundred lines of code. I can write similar programs with my tools in a dozen lines or so. I bet Linux programmers can do better. I have yet to see a Microsoft coding technology that didn't require you to copy and paste large swaths of "cookbook" code to make anything work and then struggle like crazy to make it do something different than the demos, usually due to lack of meaningful documentation. And if you make a mistake like mismatching your releases, you might as well get Madame Zorba to find the problem reading tea leaves. Real tools do work for you, Microsoft tools make you work for them.

    If this isn't true for .NET then maybe it's worth checking out.

  • PDF RTF HTML DOC... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:12PM (#9561803)
    shall i go on?
  • Re:RAD? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AstroDrabb ( 534369 ) * on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @05:35PM (#9564937)
    Umm, VB.Net is not C#. VB.Net is not more readable IMO. It is too verbose, almost as bad as Cobol. Reading the code reminds me of reading a letter from an elementary student. C, C++, Java and C# are far easier to read and follow, without having to spell out every step of the language.

    How is

    If (foo) Then
    End If
    Any more "human-readable" then
    if (foo)
    Have you ever tried to write _clean_ code that spans a few lines? VB needs stupid _ at the EOL, and last I checked it is limited to 15 lines.

    Lets look at the Cache.Add Method of the .NET Framework

    [Visual Basic]
    Public Function Add( _
    ByVal key As String, _
    ByVal value As Object, _
    ByVal dependencies As CacheDependency, _
    ByVal absoluteExpiration As DateTime, _
    ByVal slidingExpiration As TimeSpan, _
    ByVal priority As CacheItemPriority, _
    ByVal onRemoveCallback As CacheItemRemovedCallback _
    ) As Object

    public object Add(
    string key,
    object value,
    CacheDependency dependencies,
    DateTime absoluteExpiration,
    TimeSpan slidingExpiration,
    CacheItemPriority priority,
    CacheItemRemovedCallback onRemoveCallback
    What is with all the ByVal, As and _ crap? Looking at VB and VB.Net code makes me want to pull out my eyes. It is just too verbose.
  • Re:Sweet! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by buzzcutbuddha ( 113929 ) <maurice-slashdot@mauricereeve s . c om> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:27PM (#9567627) Homepage
    Your sig says "Closed Track", perhaps it should say "Closed Mind" instead.

    Here's a link from O'Reilly on how to write an FTP Client in .Net:

    http://www.ondotnet.com/pub/a/dotnet/2004/05/10/ ft pdotnet.htm .Net is probably one of the best things that Microsoft has ever done, all the more so, considering the runtime is free and most clients will have it.

    The documentation is profuse, clear, and comprehensive. There are very few things that don't exist that probably should when you go looking for them, but enough people have hunted for the same thing and have already crossed those hurdles for you. This means you get to spend more time focusing on getting the app to solve the real business problems you should be focusing on and less trying to mold it to do the basics of what you need.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner