This is my personal view, and I am interested what the rest of you make of it.
Any budding computer programmer need the tools first to do the job. I am speaking about the developemnt environment. If you dont use Dev-C++ or code::blocks as your IDE, why should Microsoft force any beginner to shell out X amount to get a proffessional version of a product they endourse?
I understand you can freely download the express editions but these do not hold as many features as the proffesional versions do. All I am trying to say, is why is computer software so expensive?
Millions of us use a computer, yet the companies still think we can all afford over 200.00 for a software package. Look at how much the full versoin Adobe charge for Photoshop.
Is it all to cover the cost of production? Video games dont cost 100+ to buy.