They claim that there tools are more powerful, honestly any tool is powerful in the right hands, whether it is from the Cathedral Microsoft camp or the Bazaar Open-source camp.
Slashdot.org is reporting that Microsoft will make full versions of their development tools available to students.
"The Redmond-based software maker said late Monday it will let students download Visual Studio Professional Edition, a software development environment; Expression Studio, which includes graphic design and Web site and hybrid Web-desktop programming tools; and XNA Game Studio 2.0, a video game development program. Gates said students will want to try Microsoft's tools because they're more powerful than the open-source combination of Linux-based operating systems, the Apache Web server, the MySQL database and the PHP scripting language used to make complex Web sites. But Gates said giving away Microsoft software isn't intended to turn students against open source software entirely. Rather, he hopes it will just add one more tool to their belt."
Tools are tools, and Microsoft has tools a plenty. I would burn this, on my Mac in a virtual partition to test drive it, compare it to GNU and cc of the UNIX world and maybe come away with, Eclipse
- open source
- interactive IDE (code completion, debugging, refactoring)
- supports multiple languages
- Eclipse Rich Client Platform
- easily customizable, modifiable, pluggable, more..