The New York Times > Technology > Microsoft to Offer Streamlined Products Aimed at Programmers "Microsoft is making a bid today to win over new developers with a stripped-down line of products including a free database and inexpensive developer tools. The new offerings - called "Express" versions of more feature-packed Microsoft products - are intended for the 18 million people worldwide who write useful programs, but do not make their living as software developers.
The ranks of nonprofessional developers, Microsoft estimates, are growing at about 8 percent to 15 percent a year, which is four or five times the growth rate of professional developers. "More people are finding that some computer science skills are important in business and other fields," observed John Montgomery, a director of product development in Microsoft's developer division.
"Those are 18 million nonprofessional developers and we want as many of them as we can writing Windows applications, and to convert some of them to professional developers," Mr. Montgomery said."