There are many versions of Visual Studio provided by Microsoft and there are many more versions to come. For developing Applications in C++ , Microsoft does provides free Visual Studio Express Edition. In case you would like to develop commercial Applications in Visual C++, you can download Free Evaluation version from Microsoft Website and develop & distribute commercial applications.
The above screenshot displays currently available Express Editions of Visual Studio. Note that Visual C++ 2010 Express Edition is available from Microsoft’s Website and is totally Free to download and use. Yes you can even develop commercial application with Visual C++ 2010 Express Edition, however you will not get MFC Library Support and yes developing Applications with C++ is little bit complex as almost all power of Microsoft Windows Operating System is available for C++ Developers and getting a more sophisticated version of Visual C++ can be a really better choice.
Currently Microsoft provides Free 90 day Trial of Visual Studio 2013 Editions as displayed in the screenshot above. Visual Studio Professional, Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Ultimate are few of the Visual Studio versions available for Free Trial. These Visual Studio Versions provide much more functionality as compared to Express Edition of Visual Studio. Typically a Visual C++ Course does teaches Application Development with Visual Studio Professional or more sophisticated versions of Visual Studio. In case you only want to learn the basics of C or C++, you should only download the Express Edition to start Programming in C++.