From http://forums.asp.net/thread/1262185.aspx:

"We are incredibly excited to announce that effective April 19th, 2006, all Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions including Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J#, Visual C++, and Visual Web Developer Express will be free permanently!

Prior to this pricing announcement, Visual Studio Express Editions were promotionally discounted to be free for one year, starting on November 7th, 2005. With this announcement, the promotional discount for Visual Studio Express is now permanent and Express will continue to be free.

The key reason for the pricing change was you. You’ve helped make Visual Studio Express a runaway hit, and we’re proud to announce that in the five months since its launch, Express has been downloaded over 5 million times!"

Read more exciting news at the  http://forums.asp.net/thread/1262185.aspx. There are new videos and webcasts, new starter kits and more!