Microsoft Debuts Express Product Lines for Visual Studio and SQL Server "SQL Server Express Edition
SQL Server Express Edition helps developers build reliable data-driven applications by providing a freely redistributable, easy-to-use and robust database. It includes the rich functionality included in the SQL Server 2005 database engine, such as stored procedures, views, triggers, cursors, Common Language Runtime (CLR) support and Extensible Markup Language (XML) support. Building on the success of the Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE), SQL Server Express Edition will be available for download at no cost to users. In addition, SQL Server Express Edition provides an embedded database that enables independent software vendors (ISVs) to embed a lightweight, cost-effective database into applications.
With Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition, Microsoft delivers an easy-to-use tool for Web application development. Building on developers' success with Visual Studio .NET 2003, ASP.NET Web Matrix and ASP.NET as a Web application platform, Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition is a highly productive tool that helps students and enthusiasts build dynamic Web applications, such as personal Web sites, blogging sites and more. Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition provides a dedicated Web tool that is built from the ground up to meet the specific needs of Web developers and includes innovations across the design surface, project system, platform and code editor, including IntelliSense® and debugging tools. Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition also includes a built-in development Web server and publishing tools that when used with SQL Server Express Edition enable users to quickly build and deploy dynamic Web applications to online hosting providers.
Each of the Express products are scheduled to be available for download by the end of the week."
Check out the Microsoft FAQ for details -- the imminent releases are beta. SQL Server Express replaces MSDE, but it'll also probably be very useful for competing with MySQL and other open source DBMSs.