Dan Fernandez, Product Manager for Visual Studio Express product range, made an announcement on his blog that all Visual Studio Express products are now permanently free. I always wondered what the logic was of having them free for a year and then charging. Perhaps a clever bit of marketing to get quick uptake on it?

I’ve not had chance to tinker with them properly but I can see why they’ve been downloaded over 5 million times! SQL 2005 Express is incredibly useful and if you’re doing something like database mirroring its pretty fundamental. You can have a box running SQL 2005 Express as a witness which keeps track of any changes between principal and mirror databases.

Anyhoo, the lower section of Dan’s blog post lists various things created with the Express products. What caught my eye was Rocket Commander which is written in Visual C# Express.

RocketCommanderScreenshot1 RocketCommanderScreenshot2

The game is pretty good and its a great demo of what the Express edition of C# can do. There is a series of video tutorials taking you through the coding of it, that I’m going to have to take a look at at some point. Its completely free and the source code is also available. The only snag is you’ll need .NET framework 2.0 and DirectX 9.0c in order to play Rocket Commander.

The Flower Commander mod is a laugh.

By Paul

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