Microsoft Visual Studio is the development suite by Microsoft. With Visual Studio, you can create many different kind of applications and for many targets. From console applications to dynamic web pages, Visual Studio has all the tools a developer needs.
Microsoft Visual Studio comes in a wide variety of versions to suit your specific needs, like Visual Studio Express, Visual Studio Standard, Visual Studio Professional, Visual Studio Team Suite and many more.
Creating applications in the Design Mode allows even unexperienced developers to create an application with just a few clicks. Practically without any code, a database can be accessed and modified so easy that anyone can do it. Also the code editor has many interesting features, like Intellisense, which helps completing the code and allows you to select a command, so it is much easier without the need of remembering every single command needed.
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 also can be used for developing applications for smart devices with Pocket PC 2002, Pocket PC 2003 and Windows CE 5.0, which makes it a great feature to customize your applications for those on the road.
With Microsoft Visual Studio, you can create web applications using ASP .Net along with Visual Basic or Visual C# code, also create web services or consume web services.
Another great feature that Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 has is the embedded addins (depending on the version) such as SQL Server 2005 Express. With this database engine embedded to your application, there is no need to get an additional license. Also, reporting services, which complement your application with easy to make reports with graphs, direct queries to the database, exporting data to Excel or PDF, and much more.