Visual C++ General: Questions about the Express Edition
Q: Can I write VC++ applications with Visual C++ Express Edition? A: Yes, you can develop C++ application, both native and managed, but not MFC or ATL applications. These are only supported in the other VC++ editions. You can use it to can create are Windows Forms, console and class library. For web development you should use Visual Web Developer Express Edition.
Q: What features doesn't it include? A: Among the missing features are:
64-bit x64 compiler and cross-compiler
CRT debug library and CRT source code
ATL and ATL server
Tools: MASM, Sply++, ErrLook, ATLTrace
Profile guide optimization
Data designer, Resource editor
A full comparison of the Express, Standard, Professional and Team System editions can be found in MSDN.
Q: Is the Express Edition actually free? A: Yes, since April 19, 2006, all Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions are free permanently.
Q: I created a console application with VC++ Express but I cannot include windows.h; why? A: Platform SDK does not come with the VC++ Express. You have to download and install it separately. You can find guidelines here about how to do that here.
Q: Where can I learn more about the VC++ Express? A: For quick questions, you can check product FAQ. For the VC++ Express features, see this page.