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Microsoft to offer version of Visual Studio Express 2012 that supports desktop apps

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Microsoft backs down from its decision to pull desktop UI development from its Visual Studio Express suite, and will be releasing Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop this fall.

Windows 8 Release Preview Start Menu Start Button
Windows 8 Release Preview Start Menu Start Button

Back in May, it looked like Microsoft was intent on pressuring developers into focusing on the Metro UI by reserving the ability to develop desktop apps to the paid versions of Visual Studio. In response to community feedback, Microsoft has backed off from this decision and will be offering "Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop" as part of the larger Visual Studio Express lineup after all.

The developer backlash stemmed from the fact that before now, the least-expensive version of Visual Studio which could be used to create desktop apps would have started at $499 - and prices move up quickly from there. Microsoft has made it abundantly clear that Metro is the future, but even so it apparently doesn't want to burn developers who aren't willing give up the desktop UI. The development software should be available sometime this fall, and presumably Windows 8 itself won't be much further behind.