If you haven't seen the news yet, several editions of Visual Basic 2005 Beta and Visual Studio 2005 Beta are available for download.  Here is some information to get you started.  Please feel free to comment with any questions. 

Good reading:

Ken Getz wrote a great Sneak Preview article about several great features and benefits of the latest VB.NET:. It's a good read - I recommend you check it out. 


If you are brand new to Visual Basic, programming, or want a lightweight evaluation I suggest you download VB 2005 Express Edition Beta 2.  This is easy to learn and has many serious features including Intellisense, Debugging, unrestricted Compiler, My namespace, full access to .NET framework, local data access, and more. 

If you are a professional developer I suggest you download Visual Studio 2005 Standard, Professional, or Team System editions.  This contains the full features of Visual Basic needed in professional environments (e.g. remote data access and team development). 

If you have a pre-Beta 2 product installed (e.g. Beta 1 or CTP), you need to read this before download!  Note also, this is Beta software so it's a good idea to install this on a machine that you don't depend on.  Or you can use software like Virtual PC that isolates Beta software from the rest of your machine. 

Some other helpful resources:

VB 2005 Overview Article by Ken Getz - (Great Read!):
A Sneak Preview of Visual Basic 2005 BETA 2

VB Dev Center:

VB 2005 Downloads:

Amazon-Enabled Movie Collection Starter Kit:
Amazon-Enabled Movie Collection Starter Kit 

The Amazon-Enabled Movie Collection Starter Kit is a Windows Form application that uses Amazon.com’s Web services to dynamically search for movie titles. This Starter Kit demonstrates technologies such as: calling XML Web services, databinding, application settings, local data storage using SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, and more.   


Let me know what you think.