Visual Studio 2005 Express – Free product

In case you missed it: While there were plenty of announcements at the launch events about benchmarks, discounts, etc, the one that I was happiest to see was that the Express editions of Visual Studio 2005 will be free of charge to download (SQL Server 2005 Express was always going to be free, but VS2005 initially was going to be chargable).

This means you can get your hands on a fully-operational version of Visual Studio 2005 for developing Windows or Web applications absolutely free of charge as long as you have an internet connection. Get it here

Comments (10)
  1. citizenDAK says:

    Q1) Can I download the free product, and share my downloaded installers… Or must each user download it themselves? (Any kind of "DRM"?)

    Q2) Any activation issues? Must it be installed or activated by Nov’06?


    Says that it can be downloaded free until Nov2006, AND WILL NOT have to pay after that to continue using it… Just have to OBTAIN it this year.

  2. citizenDAK says:

    "Bueller? Bueller? … Bueller?"


    I guess I answered myself by doing a bit of reading:

    A1) Can download ISO’s at

    (Though I would’ve prefered MD5 checksums instead of CRC.)

    A2) Each person must get their "registration key". (There’s "free stuff" for enticement.) This IS ACTIVATION that must be done from each computer the software’s installed on, per

  3. citizenDAK says:


    Registration FAQ #7 says the larger ISO downloads don’t need to be registered.

    #18 "Why should I register?" says the smaller 35-70MB downloads will not work after 30 days without a reg-key.

  4. Graeme Williams says:

    Once you register, you can download a free ebook, Build a Program Now! I’ve been working my way through it and I like it a lot. As someone who has done a lot of programming but only a little in VBA and Access, I found the book an excellent introduction to Visual Basic Express.

  5. citizenDAK says:

    Can I, with the Visual Studio Standard (not Express) installed, get the free eBooks mentioned by Graeme & on the Coding4Fun page? How?

  6. Ian Moulster says:

    As far as I know you’ll need to download and register a copy of one of the express products to get this.

  7. Veno Fern says:

    to download visual studio 2005

  8. ngotrongle says:


  9. t says:

    need a registration key where do i get one?

  10. Tom Johnson says:

    I am confused on the need for VS2005 Express, when MS has provided all of the compile apps’ such as VB, C#, C++, VWD, and J# as individual which can be used independently of the former scheme that was offered in VS2003? When I attempt to open an existing *.vbproj in VS2005 Express, I get the following msg: "The application for project http://localhost/programName.vbproj" is not installed. Make sure that the application for the projet type(.vbproj) is installed. When I look at winExplorer file types to find the Extension and file type it tells me that VBPROJ is a Visual Basic Project file. When I expand "Change" under "Details for VBPROJ extension, The Recommended Programs list MS VS2003 and MS VS Version Selector? What can be done to correct this problem.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content