A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced that it would offer Visual Studio 2012 Express for software developers. However, the Express products were limited to Windows 8 Metro apps along with one for Windows Phone apps and one for web development. At the time, Microsoft said it would not offer a version of the free software for desktop app makers. This decision angered a lot of software developers.
Today, Microsoft has announced it has reversed that decision and will in fact release a desktop app version of Visual Studio 2012 Express after all. In a post on the Visual Studio blog, Microsoft stated:
Adhering to the core principles we’ve set for our Express products, Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop will provide a simple, end-to-end development experience for developing Windows desktop applications targeted to run on all versions of Windows supported by Visual Studio 2012. With this new Express edition, developers will be able to use C++, C#, or Visual Basic to create Windows desktop and console applications. Developers will also get access to new advances available across the Express family in Visual Studio 2012, such as the latest compilers and programming language tools, integrated unit testing, and the ability for small development teams to collaborate via Team Explorer and TFS Express.
The blog added that Visual Studio 2012 Express for the desktop will be a great learning tool for students and will also serve as a way for open source applications to be ported to earlier and current versions of Windows. The desktop port of Visual Studio 2012 Express will be released in the fall.