It's free, for only $9.95 shipping and handling
What you can download from Microsoft, right now, for free:
- the latest and greatest, C/C++ optimizing compiler
- the latest MS C Runtime Library
- the latest MS Standard C++ Library including STL
As CornedBee mentioned, the VS 6.0 IDE can be configured to use the new compiler and link tools (haven't had time to try this out myself) as well as the latest C and C++ libraries.
Want an IDE and debugger too? You can download one from Microsoft right now for free as well.