Microsoft just anounced that if you download their express tools before november 7th 2006, you can use them for free. Included are visual web developer, visual basic, visual c#, visual c++, visual j++, and sql server. More info can be found on msdn: Announcing the release of Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions. But wait, there’s more! Sun has also made their Java Studio Creator IDE free.
It’s good to see so many free tools, i’ll be easier for developers to pick the right tool for the job. I’ve tried Java Studio creator in the past, but i think JDeveloper is a better IDE for building JSF applications. I’m curious to see how Visual studio compares to JDeveloper.