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Microsoft Offers Visual Studio Express Products Free for 1 Year

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In the News - Microsoft Offers Visual Studio Express Products Free for 1 Year - Windows AntiSpyware Becomes Windows Defender

==== In the News ==== by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Offers Visual Studio Express Products Free for 1 Year Yesterday at the Launch 2005 event in San Francisco, Microsoft successfully launched Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005. The company also unveiled an unexpected announcement--for the next year, Microsoft will offer the new Visual Studio Express Editions to customers for free. After that, the price will be $49 per product.

"We are announcing a pricing promotion for Visual Studio Express," a notice on the Microsoft Web site reads. "For the first year after the products launch on November 7th, 2005, customers will be able to visit MSDN to download their copy of Visual Studio Express for free! Our customers are very excited about the release of these products, so this limited-time download is our gift to the hobbyist, student, and novice community."

The Visual Studio Express products include various versions of Visual Basic 2005, Visual C# 2005, Visual C++ 2005, Visual J# 2005, and Visual Web Developer 2005. SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, which replaces the Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE), will remain free. The Express Editions are designed for individual developers creating Windows applications, Web sites, Web applications, and Web services.

In related news, the deadline-driven release of Visual Studio 2005 has triggered griping from some developers who believe that Microsoft ignored numerous reported bugs in order to release Visual Studio 2005 at yesterday's launch event. However, the software giant maintains that all 24 of the partners on its customer board and the members of the Secure Windows Initiative Team signed off on Visual Studio 2005 last month, enabling Microsoft to start shipping the product this month.

Customers who are interested in downloading any of the Visual Studio Express Editions or who want to find out more about these products should go to the Microsoft MSDN Web site.

(Windows XP Service Pack 2 must be installed on your desktop before you download any of the Visual Studio Express Editions.)

Direct download links: Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition

Visual C# 2005 Express Edition

Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition

Visual J# 2005 Express Edition

Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition

Windows AntiSpyware Becomes Windows Defender
In late 2004, Microsoft purchased GIANT Company Software and acquired its industry-leading antispyware product. Since that time, Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (as the product has been known) has been in perpetual beta. This week, we learn that the new release of the product will be named Windows Defender, but there is still no mention of a release date.

Windows Defender will contain substantial changes to the Windows AntiSpyware beta version. In addition to the spyware detection and removal technologies, Windows Defender will include other malware detection and removal features and will run as a service, giving it lower-level access to the OS.

"What's really cool about this name is that it's more positive than 'Windows AntiSpyware,'" says Microsoft group program manager Jason Garms. "Windows Defender is about what Windows will do for customers, defending them from spyware and other unwanted software. Our solution has really been about more than just the standard definition of 'spyware'. We've always said we will provide visibility and control, as well as protection, detection, and removal from other potentially unwanted software, including root kits, keystroke loggers, and more."

A version of Windows Defender will be included in Windows Vista (due in late 2006), and Microsoft says that it continues to plan for a free Windows Defender version that will be made available to Windows XP users.

The question, of course, is when. With Windows Vista hurtling toward a Beta 2 release in December, Microsoft has been focusing on the version of Windows Defender that will be included with that product, causing development of the Windows XP version to lag.

But Microsoft might have bigger problems than delays. According to a report in the "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," the Windows Defender name was already being used by an Australian developer, Adam Lyttle. His Windows Defender product protected Windows users from malicious Web sites. Adam Lyttle told the Post-Intelligencer's Todd Bishop that Microsoft contacted him a month ago, charging him with infringing on the Windows trademark but neglecting to mention that the software giant wanted to use the "Windows Defender" name. Lyttle subsequently signed over rights to the name to Microsoft and was "shocked" when he later learned the company intended to use the name for one of its own products. To read the complete article, use the following link:

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