I personally don't have an MSDN subscription but the company I work for has. But then there are all these people whose daytime job is lets say Java and they are interested in .NET. It's not about me (although I do use Express at home) it's about having a
free version of Visual Studio because everyone else has free version and frankly VS Express is not good enough to compete with other free versions. No matter what and how many programs MS has like Dreamspark to most devs out there it is as simple as "what
is the free version of VS". And right now the answer is Express. Nobody wants to read licenses and eligibility and all that legal crap. People just want to download the free stuff like they do with every other IDE product. They don't want to talk to the school
administrator and ask him to enlist the school in the program. They don't want to use the company MSDN subscription (I don't). No matter who MS is targeting Express at the end result is that it is the free version of VS.
I believe Microsoft is really missing or deliberately ignoring the way the community thinks about Express. For the community VS Express is not only the version you use to try out Visual Studio but also the only free version of Visual Studio. In many cases Express
is the version that competes with other product like Eclipse which are free. Express is what I use for my pet projects at home and I do not qualify for Dreamspark or Bizspark and I believe this is the case with many devs. I believe with IntelliJ IDEA introducing
a free version there is no popular IDE that doesn't have production ready free version except Visual Studio.
And in the light of all that - two words: Unit Testing?!?!?!
I get a feeling that Microsoft are turning the Gu into .NET mascot. That is cool. Duke (the Java mascot) should be warried. Soon MS will be selling The Gu action figures. BTW where can I get a "What Would Scott Gu Do?" T-shirt?