We heard a lot of questions over and over and over again at the Houston .NET User Group InstallFest.  To try and save time, energy and my voice, I’m going to post some of the most common ones here, as well as links to more information. 

Can I install this with previous version of Visual Studio?
Yes, you can. 

Will it interfere with previous versions of Visual Studio?
From what I have seen, no.  I’ve installed it on several machine images with various combinations of Visual Studio 6.0, Visual Studio .NET 2002, and Visual Studio .NET 2003 without significant issues.  Keep in mind, however, that I’ve not extensively tested these configurations, but everything seems to work just fine.  It may be worthwhile, however, to review the known issues for more information.

What are these “Express” Editions? 
The Express Editions are part of the Visual Studio family and are lightweight, easy-to-use tools geared towards hobbyists, enthusiasts and students that want to build .NET applications.  The various Express products support web development, Windows Forms development, class libraries and console applications.  The provide full access to the .NET Framework 2.0 and many of the features of the Visual Studio Professional, such as the debugger, many of the editing tools, Intellisense and more.  Because the Express products are part of the Visual Studio family, projects created with the Express editions will be compatible with other editions of Visual Studio.  You can get more information from our FAQ.

But I’m a professional developer. Why would I be interested in these Express editions?
When Visual Studio 2005 releases, you may be interested in purchasing either Visual Studio 2005 Professional or one of the Team System products.  However, Visual Studio 2005 (and the .NET Framework 2.0) are both still in early beta.  The Express editions give you the opportunity to create great .NET 2.0 applications in a low-impact way.  In fact, you may even find that the Express products fit what you need to do …
Not to mention, we are running a contest specifically to showcase the great applications that you can create with Visual Studio Express.  The prize?  An XBox and a copy of Halo2 … which promises to be even better than the original!  Want more info?  Check out the Summer of Express contest on Channel9.  And the judges?  These are the geeks behind the tools!!!

Why the Express versions for the InstallFest?
Because we don't want to be installing all night!  ;-)  We really want to get you playing with the tools and doing Hands-On Labs before the night is out.  The Express versions are lightweight and install pretty quickly.  Visual Studio takes a while, especially if you install all the documentation. 

What’s on the CD?  Can’t I download this?
The CD has the Visual Studio Express version that you select (VB, C#, J#, C++ and Web Developer), the documentation and SQL Server 2005 Express.  Yes, you can download it, but it’s faster to install from the CD and cooler to do it with a bunch of your favorite geeks! 

Why do you have that disclaimer on the invitation email?
The disclaimer notes that this is beta software.  You’re a developer, right?  You know what beta means … that stuff will break.  Yes, the VS team has done a great job to bring us a stable beta, but it still early in the development cycle and Visual Studio is a complex product.  There will be bugs.  Stuff may blow up.  You might have to reformat your machine.  It is not supported by our Product Support Services (PSS).  I, personally, have not had any of these issues (yet).  Your mileage may vary.  Please keep that in mind.  You also do not have a license to deploy this into a production environment. 
Microsoft is committed to providing developers with early releases of Visual Studio so you can plan your development as far in advance as possible … and get an idea of where the development platform is going.  And I, personally, want to get this into the hands of as many developers in the Gulf Coast community as I can.  But we do ask that you understand that this is Beta and that we’re still working on it.  We also value your feedback from using these early versions … that feedback helps us deliver an awesome product that makes your development tasks easier.