Does appending an express mean something is free as the Visual C# express may suggest?

I cannot find that in a dictionary.

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    @mplungjan pretty convincing. why not post an answer?
    – onemach
    Jan 21, 2012 at 7:55
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    Really, this is just trademark justification. Unless an "express" compiler either runs faster itself or generates code that runs faster, there's no meaning at all in the use of express in a trademark. Why not ask about the meaning of "Coca" in Coca-Cola? Jan 21, 2012 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


Express is used by Microsoft to denote free entry-level versions of their software development tools. As such it's a branding / marketing term, and even if the person who came up with it were to give their thought process it would be inadvisable to believe them. Hence we can only speculate.

My speculation, for what it's worth, is that the tools are express in the sense of fast because you can download them and start developing, skipping the time-consuming licensing step.

  • The espress is used in this case as the speed to get started. Jan 21, 2012 at 9:53
  • +1 exactly mate, nice answer. There are a lot of libraries that are free for 30 day or 60 day trial. The word express underline exactly that, your copy of CSharp is with limited functionality and if you want to do commercial projects you have to get a licence. Jan 21, 2012 at 12:13

You mean as a synonym for "lite." That is not the case.

Express used to mean fast and was used for trains and other means of "fast" delivery service that perhaps stopped less often.

For newspapers I am not sure if Daily Express means "thoughts of today" or "smaller, leaner newspaper which is faster to read."

The Peking Express is not free, neither is the Daily Express.

For a complex example - the game Galaxy Express is not free, but Galaxy Express Lite is.

In your case, Peter Taylor explained the etymology for MS software.

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