Microsoft Lite Tools

Cheap, simple development tools aim at hobbyists, students--and open source

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

July 2, 2004

1 Min Read

Targeting "the next generation of IT professionals," Microsoft last week debuted inexpensive, lightweight versions of its Visual Studio development tools and SQL Server database for nonprofessional developers. The stripped-down editions of Microsoft's flagship development environment and database are aimed at students, hobbyists, and others who might write simple Web-site applications. These "Express" editions are available for SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, Visual Web Developer 2005, and its C# 2005, C++ 2005, and Visual J# 2005 computer-programming languages. Beta version are available for download at this week, with final releases due next year. Pricing hasn't been set.

Microsoft hopes to tap into the growing community of developers building applets for E-commerce hubs such as, eBay, and PayPal. Those companies are creating starter kits for use with Microsoft's Express products. A free, scaled-down SQL Server database serves another purpose: as a bulwark against MySQL and other open-source databases.

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