* Updated 3/31/2015
While this post was originally written in 2009, it still gets a ton of hits!
Today, we have lots of new offerings for developers looking for free tools including Visual Studio Community Edition and updated Visual Studio Express Editions. I've updated the page with relevant links below
Snip from the FAQ on that page:
Q: Who can use Visual Studio Community? A: Here’s how individual developers can use Visual Studio Community:
Visual Studio Express 2013 Editions are also available from http://msdn.com/express
Snip from the Express page
Commercial use of Visual Studio ExpressVisual Studio Express products are available at no charge and may be used for commercial, production usage subject to the license terms provided with each product. For example, you can use Express for Windows to create apps that you can then submit for sale in the Windows Store.
And here's how they talk about Community Edition