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I know that :) I guess the overall thing is if I need to develop 1.1 apps, 2003 is worthwhile to buy. If I develop 2.0 apps, 2005 is worthwhile. I am still interested in my two questions. I don't know if it's just me, but if you use Express, and distribute a project, your user can't open it. I used a win32 app for testing this. I suppose if I'm using unmanaged C++ most of the time, then VC++ 1.1 probably won't be necessary.

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I would recommend Visual Studio 2005. It has everything that 2003 has plus better intellisence and .net 2.0 capability, and it isn't very expensive. Here is a link to the price list. Of course, the price you stated might justify, depending on your needs.