Because it wants to encourage developers to create apps for the new Windows 8 Metro interface, Microsoft has decided that Visual Studio 11 Express, the next version of its free IDE, will support only Metro development. Those who want to create traditional desktop apps for Windows 8 will either have to rely on version 10 or the software or pay for the Professional version of Visual Studio 11. In the words of the official announcement, “Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows 8 provides tools for Metro style app development. To create desktop applications, developers need to use Visual Studio 11 Professional, or higher. In addition, Visual Studio 2010 Express products — Visual Basic 2010 Express, Visual C++ 2010 Express, and Visual C# 2010 Express — will remain available for free download.”
Observers from the development community wonder whether this decision will hurt Microsoft’s platform in the long run.