Free Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions

I’m one of the last people in the world to encourage the use of proprietary development products — especially those from Microsoft, capsule producer of edlin — over comparable open-source development tools, buy information pills but it’s hard not to look when someone says “free.”

Therefore, denture anyone wanting to check out the Visual Studio suite of development tools without breaking the bank or violating a license agreement may be interested to know that Microsoft has dropped the price of its Express editions of its Visual Studio products to $0. Gratis. Free.

A member of the the Visual Studio Express Team announced the promotion on a Microsoft forum this week.

I have no idea what an Express edition is, but according to Microsoft’s Web site:

The Express products consist of:

Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition, a lightweight tool for building dynamic Web sites and Web services

Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition, Visual C# 2005 Express Edition, Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition, and Visual J# 2005 Express Edition, targeted programming tools for students and hobbyists who wish to learn the fundamentals of Windows programming

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, a database for building data-driven applications

So if you want it, there you have it.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to bother with a “targeted,” proprietary development suite at all, the open-source Eclipse project also offers a free development platform — an open-source offering that works on Windows, Mac, Linux and a host of other operating systems. No registration required.

Oh yeah, and Eclipse works for ActionScript programming, too. And um, pretty much any other language you want to use.

I’m just saying!

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