I got a trial copy of Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite from Microsoft. And today I finally got around to installing the darn thing. The trial version remains active for 180 days. Should be enough time to get my bearings.
One confusing thing was that my trial copy got shipped with 4 DVDs. It was not intuitively obvious which of these 4 DVDs I should install. The SQL Server 2005 DVD was obviously not the right one. But there was a Visual Studio 2005 Foundation Server DVD. There was also a Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals DVD. In the end I chose the DVD entitled Visual Studio 2005 and hoped for the best. I guess Microsoft assumes you know what to install.
I chose to do a full installation. This amounted to 4G worth of disk space. Should not be a problem as I have a large hard drive. But what is all this stuff? Once I was done, I found that the version I had chosen to install was officially called "Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite". All I really care about is Visual C++ 2005. So I should be covered. In fact, the first time I fired up Visual Studio, it asked me to choose a setting. Since Visual C++ was one of the default choices, I felt confident I was going down the right path.
It was funny to see an advertisement from Microsoft during the install saying that I could "write less code" if I chose Visual Studio. I understand where they are coming from. But I like writing a lot of code. Installation took a while. So I browsed the Microsoft site to see how much this thing would cost if I wanted to buy it. Apparently they are not selling Visual Studio 2005 any more. But they do list the prices for Visual Studio 2008. The full version of professional costs a whopping $799. However standard goes for $299 for a full version. Still expensive.
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