Learn how to get started with Visual C# Express—the free Microsoft IDE. Excerpt: I see C# Express as the Visual Basic of the new millennium. Visual Basic has gotten a bad rap since the release of the .NET platform, with many people calling classic Visual Basic a toy, an amateur programming environment that’s great for prototyping ideas, but not really that great when it comes to producing high-performance, easy-to-maintain applications of any complexity. That’s ignoring something vital, though. Visual Basic was designed to make Windows programming accessible to everyone. It didn’t matter whether you were a professional programmer, a graduate, a high school dropout, or a retired garbage collector, Visual Basic was designed to put everyone on an even playing field when it came to making great-looking, functional software.