When the Visual Studio 2012 free versions were originally announced, i was disappointed that there was no free way to make Console Apps, or Windows Forms apps, or anything for the Windows Desktop. (I’m sure i wasn’t the only one), as example S.Somasegar from The Visual Studio Blog said:
…we heard from our community that developers want to have for Windows desktop development the same great experience and access to the latest Visual Studio 2012 features at the Express level.
Today, I’m happy to announce that we will add Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop to the Visual Studio 2012 family. This will bring to the Visual Studio Express family significant new capabilities that we’ve made available in Visual Studio 2012 for building great desktop applications.
So as we know Open Source projects need free tools like the Express SKUs. Even better that the Express Desktop SKU gets the new 2012 features as well.
Now Visual Studio has made Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop available download it now free!. The great news is that this one SKU supports C++, C#, and Visual Basic together. With this one free version you can make WinForms, WPF, Console or Class Libraries with any or all of Visual Basic, C#, as well as Win32 projects, class libraries, and CLR apps using C++. You can also combine projects over multiple languages into a single solution. You can target both .NET 4.0 and 4.5.
- Download page for Visual Studio 2012 for Windows Desktop (Web Installer or ISO)
- Product page and Details for VS2012 for Windows Desktop
- F# Tools for Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web (you DON’T need this if you have Pro already, this is just for Express for Web)