Beta 1 of Visual Studio 2005 is available (and has been for a few days, have no idea how I managed to miss this). You may download it from Microsoft if you have a Passport account.
Also free versions of Visual Studio 2005 has been announced, the Express versions. They are available in beta 1 also. One of these versions stands out in my mind: SQL Server 2005 Express. In case you were wondering what the difference between SQL Server Express and the full-fledged version I got this from the product page:
SQL Server Express is designed to meet the needs of simple applications. Therefore, it is limited to using a single CPU and up to 1GB RAM, with a 4GB maximum database size. SQL Server Express does not include any of the advanced components of SQL Server including Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Data Transformation Services, and Notification Services.
Not too shabby considering that MSDE was the only free alternative a week ago :) There are Express versions of:
- Visual Basic
- Visual C#
- Visual C++
- Visual J#
- Visual Web Dev
- SQL Server