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wow, it’s been hard to keep this one under my breath for the time that we’ve know about it.

announced today (press link) is that the visual studio express editions that were initially offered “free for the first year” are now free without time limitations.  yep, just like sql server express, you will be able to get these free without any limitation of when the free will end.

this is a great thing to have for the broader community.

from dan fernandez’s blog:

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!

the site also refreshed with some new content that contains projects that were all done using these free express edition products.

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