The obvious news: The Express Editions of Visual Studio (5 million downloads and counting) are now officially free.
The cool news: there's some very impressive content available in Starter Kits for Visual Studio Express Edition, as showcased in Dan Fernandez's blog. I wish I had time to explore all of this. I mean, just look at these first three alone.
I'd love to hear feedback from people who have checked these out!
Microsoft .NET Interface for Lego Mindstorms Starter Kit
The Microsoft .NET interface for Lego Mindstorms enables you to programmatically control Lego Mindstorms directly from Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J#, or Visual C++ Express. We also have a dedicated sub-page on Coding4Fun on programming Lego Mindstorms with Express.
Beta: Skype Wrapper for .NET Starter Kit
The Beta of the Skype Wrapper for .NET Starter Kit is a managed code wrapper with samples that enables to programmatically connect and consume Skype services from Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J#, or Visual C++ Express.
MediaShare Messenger Starter Kit
The Media Share Messenger Starter Kit is a fully functioning Visual C++ Express custom chat client that enables you to send instant messages to your friends and even share your music collection with them over a local area network (LAN).
An extended list of Starter Kits is over on Dan's blog.