Whether ROS and other recent moves have had a direct impact on the decision or not, it looks like Microsoft is getting the message that professional robotics software isn’t just the realm of licensed, proprietary software, but frequently supported by world class software solutions which are often free and open source. In a step in this direction, Microsoft has released Microsoft 2008 Robotics Developer Studio (RDS), making it available completely free of charge with all of the bells and whistles provided with the previous standard edition.

http://www.microsoft.com/robotics/

Enjoy!
Billy McCafferty