Say Hi to Visual Basic Express

This blog enty’s a little late because I’ve been running around like mad at TechEd Europe, but I just wanted to add to the chorus of good news around the launch of the Visual Studio Express line.  We launched Express with a demo of VB Express during the keynote on Monday.  Andy Sterland, a computer science undergrad from the University of Hull, showed the crowd the My Movie collection starter kit. 


As you’ve probably heard, the Express line is targeted at hobbyists, enthusiasts and  other non-professional developers.  I got my start as a developer programming in BASIC when my father’s company sent him home with an IBM PC when I was in 5th grade – when you booted the machine with no disk in the drive, it ended up in BASIC, so I just started programming.  Trust me, getting BASICA was a big deal. ;-)  I’m really excited that we now have more easy ways for developers to learn to program.  


We’re going to have Starter Kits that come with each of the products that provide a fully-functional program.  VB already has a DVD Collection tracking Starter Kit that we’re shipping with the Beta.  It’s pretty cool because it downloads movie information from and stores some of that info in a local database.  So here’s a question – what other starter kits do you want to see?  What other things would make you interested in kicking the tires and getting going with programming?  And if you’re a pro dev reading my blog, what things do you think beginning programmers should see?


There’s been a little confusion around the fact that we’re not giving out a “go-live” license with this release of the beta – This means that we don’t think the product is ready to run in a production environment (it’s a beta, folks).  Once we release the Express line, you’ll be able to distribute any programs that you develop with it just like you can with the Standard, Pro, and Enterprise lines.  


So what do you think?  Like the Beta?  Let us know.