Need advise on a Visual C++ IDE

It was a little bit of a shock today when I finally figured out that I had downloaded and installed Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate by mistake and that it will expire in 140 days. I was even more shocked when I looked at the price of the subscription.

   Does Microsoft offer any free IDEs? I am strictly interested in Visual C++ but don't want to spend milions to do it. Do I have any good alternatives?
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käµfm³d 👽Commented:
I work primarily in C#, and I only rarely code anyting in C++, so I'm not certainly not an authority on the issue. In my experience, VS handled C++ just fine. However, I'd like to suggest that you "Request Attention" above and ask for the C++ zone to be added to your question. I know there are few C++ experts who are more versed in this topic than I.

I know that some shops are using Eclipse for their development.
käµfm³d 👽Commented:
Yes, there are the Express editions. As would be expected, they are not going to be as feature-packed as the Ultimate version, but they have enough to do the most common projects.
jimbecherAuthor Commented:
Well..... I actually downloaded and installed Express 2012 and a couple first impressions were:

1) It does web, C#,  VB and I am sure a lot more. My fear is that it might be a fighter/bomber not really good at C++ because it has to do some many other languages
2) There are not templates for C++
3) It looks like just learning the IDE would take forever

I have been out of the C loop for 20 years. Just getting back in to it. I definitely want to pick the industry standard. Is that really Visral Studio for C++?
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Regarding those first impressions:

1) Microsoft has solid implementations of C++. If you have a version of Visual Studio that can compile a C++ project then you don't have to worry about the quality of the implementation.

2) What kind of templates are you looking for? (There are plenty of example projects available for download.)

3) It will take a little time to get used to the IDE and chances are that you probably will only use a fraction of the features.
käµfm³d 👽Commented:
chances are that you probably will only use a fraction of the features.
I agree with kaufmed, you can only use a fraction of the features. As you mentioned, you have been out of C-loop for 20 years and just getting back to it, you may need a code flowchart converter to check your program at all times to help you have a clear mind when faced with complex C codes.
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