Visual Studio Is a software development environment (also know as an Integrated Development Environment or IDE), It's used primarily by Software Developers to build Software products, websites and Utilities.
Visual Studio was introduced by Microsoft in 1998 and has seen many evolutions, product versions are:
- Visual Studio 6.0 (1998)
- 5.2 Visual Studio .NET (2002)
- 5.3 Visual Studio .NET 2003
- 5.4 Visual Studio 2005
- 5.5 Visual Studio 2008
- 5.6 Visual Studio 2010
The current Version of Visual Studio is 2010 and is available in a number of different versions, each designed to suite a different type of user:
- Visual Studio 2010 - Express (Free Version)
- Visual Studio 2010 - Professional
- Visual Studio 2010 - Premium
- Visual Studio 2010 - Ultimate
- Visual Studio 2010 - Test Professional
Visual Studio 2010 Express
Visual Studio Express Edition is a Free version of the popular Visual Studio 2010 IDE (Integrated Development Environment), it's targeted towards Home Users, Hobbyists, Students and Developers who are working alone on Non Commercial Applications or WebSites.
Express Edition is a full version of Visual Studio 2010 with some slight restrictions, most notably the Ability to use Source Control Management (SCM) systems (Like Subversion, Team Foundation Server), Visual Studio Express edition has this feature disabled.
Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium, Ultimate and Test Professional
Visual Studio comes in several flavours, all have different feature and are aimed at different people in the Development team. For a complete product comparison of the Visual Studio versions see the Comparison page on Microsoft.com Here
For other information about Visual Studio 2010 check out the product page Here