I'm a professional programmer, going back 20 years or so. I have experience with C, some C++, and a handful of scripting languages like Perl. But I've never developed GUI apps for Windows. Mostly what I've done for the past 13 years is web programming. And, frankly, I'm sick of it. What tools are considered standard for developing commercial Windows desktop applications? I've seen and used plenty of apps on Windows with oddball user interfaces, strange widgets, very unconventional ways of doing things, and I'm not interested in going there, even to start out. And then... what is the least expensive route to acquiring the tools? I would guess some kind of Microsoft Technet subscription or other.