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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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  • It's good to see Microsoft trying to get on board with at least the spirit of Open Source.
  • Sweet! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:50AM (#9559475) Homepage
    Say what you will about MS, but Visual Studio has always been an excellent product. Nice debugger, and VB is an excellent RAD language (particularly the GUI-drawing system).
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:2, Informative)

      by revin ( 191651 )
      I totally agree... as I am into java-web-coding I was always a bit of jealous on that gui drawing system. I'm glad Sun had a good look to it while building Java Studio Creator (
      where you can use the java server faces (JSF)framework to nicely draw your work.
    • RAD? (Score:5, Funny)

      by tod_miller ( 792541 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:02AM (#9559602) Journal
      Interesting ideas, but I would say VB is an excellent prototyping tool.

      I wouldn't say it has many advantages in terms of real system development, and I wouldn't want to list any of the disadvantages.

      VB does indeed have a fairly nice UI drawing tool, and you can simply link many forms together, some would say you can even program with it! :-)

      Don't forget: Devleopers developers developers developers, etc :-)
      • Re:RAD? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bandit0013 ( 738137 )
        Um... "Real system development"?

        If you know anything about .NET you'd know that C#, VB .NET, etc are all compiled into the same intermediate language. Therefore no .NET language is more "Real" than any other, it's a matter of preference.

        C# tends to be less verbose and more comfy for java developers. VB .NET kills C# as far as productivity when interacting with office etc.

        I'd really like to see c/java coders get off their high horse about how "vb isn't a real language". It's just not true anymore
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:06AM (#9559641) Homepage Journal
      I gotta agree with you. As a Windows developer, I am infuriated on an almost daily basis by Microsoft, but I have to say I actually enjoy using Visual Studio. It's reasonably simple (if you ignore the next-to-useless, pseudo-CASE tools), flexible enough to let you do what you need, and it works... I've been using VS6 for about 5 or 6 years and it's solid as a rock. I'd like to upgrade, but the project I'm using is staying with VS6 for now.

      I will say I have no interest in .NET, "managed code" and all the other well-meaning but ultimately frightening things that they are doing to the tools. I can tell you that every two or three years they regild OLE, tack a new name on it and try to sell it as something other than a hodge-podge of incomprehensible and poorly documented cookbook tools. My philosophy with MS development has always been, the development environment is great, the libraries suck.

      • Re:Sweet! (Score:3, Informative)

        by N0decam ( 630188 )
        My philosophy with MS development has always been, the development environment is great, the libraries suck.

        All the more reason to check out .Net - the dev environment is a vast improvement, and the libraries don't suck as much. (Actually I think that they don't suck at all, but I'm sure that as with any product, there are problems that I haven't encountered yet.)

        Say what you will about MS, they know how to cater to developers - to lure them over to the "Dark Side."
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:47AM (#9560070)
      DevStudio is fairly good and certainly better than anything on Linux for C++ work but I wouldn't call it excellent.

      Particularly for .NET development, it is missing many features that have been standard in Java IDEs such as JBuilder or Eclipse for some time. For example the ability to debug two apps at once (for client / server etc.), or to rename a class and all references to it throughout a file. Not to mention it's biggest flaw - DevStudio is intractably bound to developing apps that run with MS technology.

      But even for Windows work, by far and away the most annoying 'feature' of DevStudio is the retarded context sensitive help. I've lost count of the number of times that I've hit F1 over something in a Win32 C++ project to be taken to a help page for Windows CE. I'm not sure what context it seems to be using, but it has nothing to do with what I'm doing.

      Still, it's clear from these 'express' editions that MS is worried by the number of free alternative IDEs that are springing up - in particular Eclipse. After all, if students learn to programme using Eclipse, it means MS is completely frozen out the picture. After all Eclipse is primarily for developing Java apps (bad for .NET) and is cross-platform (bad for Windows). A few years down the line those students will be driving the market and a huge slice of potential MS revenue flies out the window.

      • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Informative)

        by MaestroSartori ( 146297 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:01PM (#9560906) Homepage
        I didn't want to mod you down for this, so thought I'd post separately:
        DevStudio is intractably bound to developing apps that run with MS technology.

        Wrong. I'm currently (as in I've alt-tabbed over from it to post this) using it to develop for PS2, using the SN Systems gcc-based toolchain and makefiles. It is trivial to use plug-in compilers, debuggers etc. with VS6 and VS.Net. May not be trivial to write them or interface them, but I didn't get the impression that that was what you meant...
      • Re:Sweet! (Score:3, Informative)

        by Malc ( 1751 )
        I'm glad I'm not the only one annoyed by this feature of the MSDN library! I explicitly didn't install the Windows CE related stuff... all it does now is prompt for the installation disk to load those pages. Grrr. Filtering isn't as easy as it used to be either.
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Decaff ( 42676 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:10AM (#9560394)
      Visual Studio is an adequate development system, but could have been so much better. In the 80s, Gates was introduced to some really powerful IDEs, such as Digital Smalltalk. He even commented "This is the future". Instead of providing an IDE with dynamic layouts, cross-platform support, multi-processing, the ability to break into an app, re-compile bits and resume, true object-orientation with inheritance, and with the full source code of the IDE and the ability to extend the IDE (this is Smalltalk), we got Visual Basic and Visual Studio. It could, and should, have been so much better.

      Visual Basic is a quick-fix language, but left in the hand of an inexpert developer can lead to a buggy unsupportable mess (I have had clean up plenty of such messes). Something like Object Pascal would have been far better, with good type safety, yet high speed, and with true object orientation, not the crippled version of VB6.
      • Re:Sweet! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by justins ( 80659 )
        the ability to break into an app, re-compile bits and resume

        Is present in Visual C++, and has been for a while.
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:3, Informative)

      by RevAaron ( 125240 )
      particularly the GUI-drawing system

      From my experience, this is the most commonly sited perk of VB. It's something that you've been able to do for darn near any language for a long time- GUI designers really aren't new, and VB doesn't even have the best one available.

      The frequency that I see people cite the GUI designer as the major benefit to VB makes me think that most folks- especially the types of people on /.- seem to be stuck in the past, coding all of their GUIs manually. I know that the developme
  • 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 damieng ( 230610 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:54AM (#9559507) Homepage Journal
    Heaven forbid that somebody reads before they submit to Slashdot... from the Express Edition FAQ []:

    Q: "Are the Express Edition products free?"

    A: "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."
    • 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 OptimizedPrime ( 558992 ) <`tedwardm' `at' `'> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:08AM (#9559672)
        No, the licensing doesn't let you make applications and the Web Dev specifically says that you can't put it into production and that a license (I am speculating that you have to pay for) will be available after Beta 2 comes out to be able to put things into production. You're not even supposed to use this version with IIS, only with the internal, local-host only webserver
        • by GCP ( 122438 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:45PM (#9562221)
          Previously, they had the very expensive VS Pro with all of the languages, plus several "Standard" editions, one for each language, at about $99 each.

          People who only wanted to develop in C++ would always be interested in Visual C++ Standard. "Why do I care about Visual Basic or Visual J#?" they would ask.

          But then inevitably the question would arise whether the Visual C++ Standard license allowed you to write commercial software and for some reason the answer was never very clear. Most people thought the answer was no (see Google Groups), but MS's website never managed to include that most frequently asked question in its FAQ, despite year after year of people asking the question.

          I notice now that the new C++ Express Edition doesn't include MFC or ATL, which are what most people doing commercial C++ for Windows would be using, but it does make a big deal about how you can write .Net "managed C++" apps, which almost nobody is interested in.

          It's a bit puzzling why MS doesn't just make the best possible development tools, including everything (MFC, ATL, .Net, fancy compiler, profiler, nice editor, etc.) and give them away to ensure a steady stream of new apps that make Windows a "must have" in order to stave off Linux.

          Reducing the cost of VS Pro + MSDN from thousands to zero would almost certainly increase the quantity and variety of commercial-quality apps for Windows, much of it free, making it harder for people to abandon the platform.

          They've previously commented that they don't want to do that because it would destroy the 3rd party dev tools market for Windows, but given their history, that explanation seems laughable.

          It can't be that they're trying to protect their Office apps from free competitors, because those are so huge that the resources needed by any challenger dwarf the cost of a few copies of VS Pro.

          Maybe they're trying to protect the idea of commercial software in general, or trying to lock developers into the platform by getting them to commit money to it, or just trying to make short run money by selling tools, but those seem like pretty shaky theories.

          Anybody know?

  • by Glock27 ( 446276 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:54AM (#9559512)
    you visit the Eclipse [] and NetBeans [] sites.

    As an added bonus, both are cross-platform. ;-)

  • Great! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:54AM (#9559513)
    Now everyone can create secure, robust and reliable software.
  • A smart move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:55AM (#9559522) Homepage
    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.

    Most of the big distros come with good development tools these days. Still I bet Microsoft's tight integration is going to present a new challenge to the open source community.

  • My pet project breaks VS.NET 2003's IntelliSense to the point that sometimes the IDE becomes unstable. Perhaps it is the multiple layers of template instantiation it has trouble following; but regardless I hope they have improved things on this front. At least the compiler doesn't suck as much as it used to.
  • They saw SunOne and most of the Java IDE's being given away. So, to capture the user base and tie them down to Windows, they are now goign to give it away. Anyone ever notice that this "Express" is for home users only?
    • Anyone ever notice that this "Express" is for home users only?

      I don't really see that as an issue. If you're a professional developer, you're going to want the best IDE for whatever you're doing. A rational craftsman in any field is not going to skimp on his tools.

      Granted, I'm not saying Visual Studio is ideal for every project. I almost certainly wouldn't use it for a Java project, for example. However, in some cases, I believe VS would be the right tool for the job, and well worth its cost in t
  • by jobsagoodun ( 669748 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:55AM (#9559526)
    Should be on 'free', not 'express'.
  • 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?

  • Quote: "When you open a Visual Studio .NET 2003 Web project in Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition, the project is converted to the new, simpler project layout used with Visual Studio 2005. The conversion process also converts existing .aspx pages, .ascx files and other files into a new format; for example, .aspx pages are converted to use the new code-behind model. You can therefore work with existing projects using Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition, but the conversion process is one-way and you will not be able to continue work with them in Visual Studio .NET 2003. Note that the conversion process creates a backup of your project before the conversion begins."

    So here starts the next layer of conversion hell!
  • Passport required .. (Score:5, Informative)

    by wazlaf ( 681158 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:56AM (#9559542) Homepage
    I would have loved to at least give it a try, but it requires you to log in using Microsoft Passport! Bad idea! I think many people are not willing to sign up for Passport - even for goodies like this...
    • I would have loved to at least give it a try, but it requires you to log in using Microsoft Passport! Bad idea! I think many people are not willing to sign up for Passport - even for goodies like this...

      Just make a dummy Hotmail [] account. It's virtually like downloading a program from other sites that require signing up. Remember, you're an 88-year old accountant from Zimbabwe, with name Aljsfdklsfe LKSJEFLKejf, and password asdf.

  • license (Score:3, Insightful)

    by abe ferlman ( 205607 ) <.bgtrio. .at.> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:56AM (#9559547) Homepage Journal
    I understand that this was released under a license reminiscent of the KWPL [], better known as the Kjell Woodson Public License []. Nice to see a little more truth in advertising!

  • 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. :)
  • Not Sure about free (Score:5, Informative)

    by Merlin42 ( 148225 ) * on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:57AM (#9559557)
    ***FROM THE FAQ***

    # Are the Express Edition products free?

    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.

    # When will the Express products, and the rest of the Visual Studio 2005 product line, be officially released?

    The Visual Studio 2005 family of products will likely be released in the first half of 2005. Microsoft will continue to release Community Technology Previews (CTPs) and beta releases of the Visual Studio 2005 family of products until then.
  • Important to note... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Aphrika ( 756248 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:58AM (#9559562)
    ...that they have made only the beta versions of the Express products free. There's no mention of whether the final version's pricing. Personally, I expect them to replace the 'Standard' editions of the languages as they stand currently.

    Interesting to see SQL Server Express 2005. As it's based on the Yukon engine, that it something I'll be downloading and playing with. I have no idea what edition of SQL Server this would replace, possibly Developer in the long run? It's mentioned that it's installed in a full VS 2005 install...
  • So, how long before Microsoft runs out of modifiers to attach to the word addition? We have:

    Visual Studio Express Edition
    Windows XP Starter Addition
    Windows Millenium Edition
    Windows XP Home Edition
    Windows 98 Second Edition
    Windows XP Media Center Edition
    Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition
    Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
    Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
    Windows NT 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
    SQL Server Developer Edition
    SQL Server Enterprise Edition
  • by Zepalesque ( 468881 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @09:59AM (#9559578)
    Or you can use this fine dot NET development enviornment.

    Free []
  • Just like the free command line tools, the Visual Studio C++ Express edition doesn't include MFC. This severely restricts the capabilities of the system, as almost all sample Windows code is written using MFC.

    Although maybe we'll start seeing more applications that don't use MFC in future. That would be nice.

    Anyone know of a free MFC re-implementation?
  • 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?
  • by barryfandango ( 627554 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:02AM (#9559603)

    Note that only the Express Betas are free - the final products will be a low-cost alternative, I suppose, for the hobbyist or beginning programmer.

    What I would love to see is a return to the days when a development environment was automatically included with a system (like QBASIC was with DOS.) I think a lot of young programmers would get a good start if some bundled, easy-to-use development tools were waiting for them on install (Like C# Express right next to WordPad in the Accessories folder.)

    It's sort of amusing that as Microsoft continually "expands" the concept of what qualifies as an OS (Web Browser, Media Player) they've removed another element that used to be considered primary and indispensable.

  • by syntap ( 242090 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:05AM (#9559628)
    We have a rich databinding model in Visual Studio 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0 -- one that supports binding ASP.NET controls against a variety of different data sources. One of these data-sources is the "" control, which is specifically designed to enable you to bind against middle tier object layers, enabling true n-tier databinding using ASP.NET 2.0 controls.

    Even the data source control names are in beta I guess.
  • 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 jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:08AM (#9559671) Homepage

    ... the "Standard" editions of VS.NET 2003? You can currently buy these cut-down versions of Visual Studio that only support C# [], VB.NET [], "J# []" (whatever nightmare spawn of Java that is), or C++ [] for about $100 each. I imagine that when these "Express" products leave beta we'll see them priced at about the same level.

  • This wasn't a very unexpected development(no pun intended)

    MS are worried that the windows platform is hemorrhaging developers to linux/OS X platforms. And as MS know; more developers, means more software, means more users, means more money, means more developers, etc , etc...

    These downloads are aimed at drawing younger, paticularly student developers, to coding in a windows enviornment. Previously, every programming course I ever heard of started with C and Java, because of the low cost of development tools. If MS release free Dev tools, I can see schools and Universities switching to teach VB and C#, so their students are ready for the "real world".A lot of people in my course complain about this, paticularly after internships. When people don't have to pay $600 for Visual Basic, I think its uptake might increase, just a little.

    Looks like a long term strategy I think. The question is will it work?
    I figure it will draw more programmers back to windows, paticularly those frustrated by the C++/EMACS/Shell method of programming, which is admittedly a tough nut to swallow for the budding hacker. Most these days are likely long term GUI users, much more at home in Visual Studio type enviornments. I know I was! That why I got anjuta [] Anjuta be praised!! :E
    • I can see schools and Universities switching to teach VB and C#, so their students are ready for the "real world".A lot of people in my course complain about this, paticularly after internships. When people don't have to pay $600 for Visual Basic, I think its uptake might increase, just a little.

      Haven't been to a University with a Microsoft Campus agreement? They get almost all the Microsoft Software for free.

      Need the Windows 98 disc, goto the Library and check it out for a day. Need Visual Studio 6,

  • by orion41us ( 707362 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:13AM (#9559721)
    To write/compile and run any of the .NET languages you really do not need Visual studio is nothing more then a nice (_REALY_NICE_) development environment and debugger. You can write your C#/ code in notepad and compile with the command line. The compilers and documentation is part of the SDK that you can download [] from MS at no charge ;) as well as distribute your compiled code w/o any royalties (I think).... They really do not advertise this as they want every one to spend $$ on the but that is completely unnecessary.
  • 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 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.
    • Which includes licenses aswell. Thats $12k worth of licenses. Microsoft runs great deals, you just gotta keep your eyes open for them. If you pay retail for any of your ms software licenses, you're a moron. BTW, 5 msdn universal license for $350 applies to ISVs and is advertised on their partnership web site. So if you sell custom software, you can get this deal aswell.
      • I just looked into this program ("Empower ISV"). In order to qualify you need to:
        1) Look like a software company when they check you out
        2) Ship a product and have it certified for some version of Windows (anyone know what this costs?)
        3) Get an employee MCP certified.

        So, it's not for everyone.

        As for the high price of the "Universal" package, I think MS feel they need to price it in the same range as BEA and IBM's enterprise development packages (which list for $10 grand or so). However, if you are small sh
  • by blueZhift ( 652272 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:27AM (#9559838) Homepage Journal
    I think that part of the motivation for making the beta of the so called "hobbyist" tools free is to prime the pump with a new generation of Windows developers. The full professional version of Visual Studio .Net is fairly expensive for a teenager or college student (school discounts not withstanding). So making something a free download should rope in the some of those budding programmers who in MS's view would otherwise cut their teeth on OSS tools and platforms.

    Most of the /.ers here are not going to be swayed by this, but the kids are another story. A good part of the success of Microsoft and Windows is because of good tools that were well promoted. With the great interest in OSS these days, MS has to work harder for mindshare. So don't be too surprised if the final pricing is something like $49.99 and lower with student discounts and such. And of course, an easy upgrade path to the professional tools.

  • If your product isn't selling like it used to you need to make certian everyone buys it for the price they are willing to pay, rather than setting a fixed price and letting everyone who can afford it buy it.

    For instance:
    Take product X at $200
    Remove 'enterprise', 'professional', and 'commercial' features. Sell as cheap hobbyist or student edition.
    Remove 'enterprise' and 'professional' features. Sell as low end (shareware, small developer) edition.
    Remove 'enterprise' features. Sell as high end developer edition.
    Sell original software at 2-3x the original cost.

    By taking the original product, splitting it further than it already was and spreading the price curve they reach more smaller buyers while milking the bigger buyers for more since they are willing to pay it.

    It does give good PR (apparantly - it got on slashdot and many seem to think this is a 'good thing') It further gives cheaper tools for home hobbyists. Lastly, it removes some of the incentive for pirate software - if the average user can buy and download a fully supported working version for $50 and an hour of time they may be more likely to do so than searching, installing, troubleshooting, and wondering if the errors they keep getting are their fault or the fault of the pirated software.

    But in the end it's simply an old method to extract maximum cash from a larger target audience, while encouraging current users to upgrade.

  • 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 [] 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...

  • 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"
  • by Foresto ( 127767 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:40PM (#9562878) Homepage
    They also offer a free download of Visual C++ Toolkit 2003 [], which looks to be a command line compiler and basic (non-mfc) libraries.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein