What better way to learn these new technologies other than going through Microsoft’s e-learning courses including the hands on labs from TechEd, etc. for free. But you need to hurry, as this offer is valid only till launch (i.e. first week of November).
If you already have the Virtual PC (VPC) image, then you can go here for SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005. If you don’t have the image then you can still do the same on a hosted environment by Microsoft – you will just need to be on a high-speed internet connection then. Click for the hosted environment for Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005.
If you are interested in these technologies, I would highly recommend playing with them now, especially since they are free. The hands on labs’s are cool and provide you with a quick insight into either the product or the technology.