In the TechEd Europe keynote today we officially announced the new Express products that are available to download right now:

 

  • Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition (download)
  • Visual C# 2005 Express Edition (download)
  • Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition (download)
  • Visual J# 2005 Express Edition (download)
  • Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition (download)
  • SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (download) – Note, SQL Express is included as an optional component in the installers of the other Express products. 

 

As I had blogged before, you finally get to see the big picture of everything we’re offering in Visual Studio 2005.  On the high end, we’re adding new tools and support for enterprise developers, testers, architects, and team collaboration through Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation. On the low end, we’re adding new tools for students and non-professional developers through five new developer tools and a lightweight, entry-level database.

 

There are a couple of challenges for beginning developers and people evaluating our developer tools. One is the lack of tools focused for entry-level programmers.  Visual Studio .NET is a very powerful tool, but beginning programmers or developers who just program on the side, can get lost in the complexity. So we decided to build tools, documentation, and Starter Kits with the beginning programmer in mind.

 

Another challenge is the barrier to evaluate Visual Studio.  Downloading Express is a matter of minutes, not hours, in fact the C# IDE alone weighs in around 24MB and with a 20MB framework, the install is only about 54MB. That’s a huge reduction from the 3GB of a full VS install J

 

·        We want to hear from you, I’m consolidating comments and will pass them on internally, please let us know what you think!

·        What do you think about Express?

·        Is this a good idea, would you recommend Express to friends interested in starting to program?

·        What are your favorite features of Express?

·        What features do you think are missing from Express?