You are a developer and you are short of cash (who is not in these days of gloom and doom with millions out of jobs)to buy all the fancy software. You could go to Open Source, or get programs for free.
The evaluation editions are great but they can be a headache. By evaluating, you are helping the company make a better product in exchange for your headache. They have expiration dates and you have to fiddle with your control panel. I almost don't use evaluation software with less than 120 days of useful life.
Now come the express editions. They are free and you do not have to worry about the expiration date but the downside is some features are not there in the express series. Well, beggars or not choosers.
Microsoft started making these express editions (others also like Oracle and IBM) a while ago and now all of this is consolidated on thier web site expressely set for the express series.
Here you can find the latest express editions as well as the Microsoft Web Platform Installer which will bring home all the goodies to your desktop/laptop/notebook.
You can get express programs for all of these in one place:
Web Visual Studio 2010 Express
Windows Microsoft VB, C# and C++ Express
Phone Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone 7
Database SQL Server 2008 R2 Express (x32 and x64)
These same products can be used for developing applications for Windows Azure as well. This is a good selling point.