posted under category: dotnet on April 20, 2006 by Nathan
Microsoft's Visual Studio Express editions are now free forever. Previously, they were free for a year.
Apparently, Microsoft is going after the amateur developer community. This is good news on a couple levels for us. First, because SQL Server Express is a great tool, and can be deployed on a site for free. I'm having trouble finding the license or limitations for it, but it's my understanding that it has a 4GB size limit and a 1 CPU usage limit, and is missing a couple other features. Otherwise, it's still SQL Server 2005, which is pretty popular with the CF community. - BTW, they also just launched a lighter and free-er version of their SQL manager tools.
The second great reason, something I've been a proponent of, is it's a great opportunity to learn a new programming language, and a new web application framework and structure. I say this over and over, but I really mean it. It was learning VBScript (with ASP classic) that transformed me from an ok CF coder into a great CF coder (btw - I came from the HTML jockey side, so CF was an obviously perfect choice for me).
Anyways, I'm not advocating ditching CF for .NET. It's really not worth it. But it is cool to be able to write a couple desktop apps here and there, and learning more puts more tools in your toolbox.