My new group at Microsoft has me learning ASP.NET. While I'm no stranger to .NET (having coded in C# for a few years now), ASP.NET hasn't been something I've used before now. Sure, I've had a few ideas about simple web pages that seem like they could be handy, but I've never had the time (or web server) to play around with ASP.NET. Well, it looks like my time has come...

The good news is that it's easier than ever to get started with ASP.NET. Start by downloading Visual Web Developer Express, a professional-grade development environment that's free for a year! (It even comes with a small, development-friendly web server that will save you from having to install IIS - nice touch!) Then surf on over to http://asp.net/ where you'll find a wealth of information about ASP.NET. Pay particular attention to the Tutorials which provide a great overview of ASP.NET. And while you're there, maybe you'll want to check out the technology preview of Atlas, an ASP.NET extension that's going to make AJAX applications simple to develop.

Lots of good stuff. No money down. What are you waiting for??