I guess many here use the VisualStudio Express versions. Microsoft decided to remove the ability to develop typical Desktop applications from their free version for Visual Studio in the next version. From VS 11 on they will only allow development of Metro applications. Well that's unless they decide one day to remove that as well because they have the next API to sell I guess. Metro applications can not access the native Win32 API except through wrappers. Some API's where wrappers are missing will no longer be accessible. Haven't seen one for OpenGL yet for example, also DirectX 9 won't be supported anymore. Native libraries - like Irrlicht
- will no longer be accessible. Also from what I've read so far Metro applications can't just be distributed as easy as .exe's anymore. It seems you either have to sign them somehow (haven't been able to find out more about that yet) or they must be be sold from some Microsoft shop where verification does actually cost. All in all it means writing free applications which you can then just put on your website at no cost is no longer possible with Visual Studio.
Some news covering this:http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... windows-8/http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/24/micr ... ktop-apps/
They also decided to remove support for Windows XP by the way for the free as well as the full versions. You can't even compile for Windows XP anymore to support people still having that (currently around 50% of all systems worldwide). But due to lots of protests they already mentioned that they'll reconsider that decision (whatever that means - guess we will see).
They _do_ still offer VS 2010 express for free. But it likely won't get updates, like the new c++11 features for example, nor do they tell how long they keep that support up.
What this means for Irrlicht: I think we need to add newer DX drivers first before we can run on Metro. So it will probably be a while until we can support this, although maybe some people with enough interest in Metro make it happen faster. Until then you can not use VS 2011 Express with Irrlicht. You can use VS 2010 Express or VS 2011 professional. Or you can use - even with newest c++ features and continued support - an alternative development environment like Code::Blocks or Eclipse in combination with gcc and MinGW. Maybe time to check-out the alternatives (and why not just develop for Linux anyway while you're at it...) :-)
edit (12. June 2012):
Microsoft decided to release a version that allows Desktop development again.
And they mentioned that they will patch VS 11 later on to allow XP support again.