Feeds

Microsoft extends Visual Studio handout program

Play now, pay later

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Microsoft is embracing the free tools concept as a way to drive uptake of its software, announcing an entry-level edition of Visual Studio that will be available permanently at no cost.

Visual Studio 2005 Express, which targets so-called hobbyists, is to join Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 Express database by being made available for free. When it launched Visual Studio 2005 last November, Microsoft originally intended the suite's Express edition to be free for just 12 months.

Microsoft is making the change to tap a growing market of hobbyist Windows and web developers. The worldwide population of non-professional developers is estimated to number some 18m individuals, compared to 14m professional programmers.

Clearly, Microsoft hopes developers using its low-end product will graduate into the full edition of the suite for private or professional engagements. Once that happens, Microsoft can then start charging them thousands of dollars for both the software and membership of the company's premier developer network, Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN).

Additionally, Microsoft will hope to drive further adoption of its operating systems and applications, as hobbyists who build applications will require an underlying software platform to serve as the runtime environment.

Microsoft said Wednesday that the combination of Visual Studio Express along with the SQL Server Express database would "meet the needs of a wide range of software enthusiasts, including beginning Windows developers, hobbyist web developers, amateur games developers and even hardware developers".

Visual Studio Express consists of Visual Web Developer Express, Visual Basic Express, Visual C# Express, Visual C++ Express and Visual J# Express. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.