New Express Editions of Microsoft Tools Go Beta

Microsoft announced a number of new development products today. These include:

  • Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition
  • Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition
  • Visual C# 2005 Express Edition
  • Visual J# 2005 Express Edition
  • Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition

Microsoft described these as "lightweight" software development tools. In talking with the product managers last month, they told me that these were being aimed at the 'non traditional' people doing programmers. These are aimed at hobbyists, students, and non-developers who are writing programs. As such, there is an expectation that these people don't need the advanced features and don't need the extra clutter that traditional programmers do need. When you look at these tools, you will see that they are simplified versions of Visual Studio. Many of the menu items, dialogs, and settings that are in the standard Visual Studio product won't be found in these products.

These tools are also more focused towards platforms. The Visual Web Developmer Express Edition can be used for creating ASP 2.0 applications using C#, VB, or J#. The other four tools are focused on Windows development and thus don't do ASP. All of the tools use the 2.0 version of the .NET Framework. For more information, you can check out my overview article that will be posted to CodeGuru today. I'll also be posting a second article that is a very basic overview of what it took to install and create an application with the Visual C# Express Edition beta.

In addition to announcing these products, Microsoft is also releasing betas. You can get to them from links on the following page:

Be aware: These are betas. I asked about issues installing these with previous versions of Visual Studio (2002 and 2003). It was indicated to me that you may not want to do that. As with any beta products, use them at your own risk! On the positive side, one of the features of these products is that they are small and thus relatively easy to download.

CodeGuru article: Simplified Development Tools —The Microsoft Express Products

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Bradley L. Jones


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