In the very first step of learning API, you need to download Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (NOT 2012) which is provided for free to students. Microsoft Visual Studio is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An IDE provides powerful tools for writing software, such as syntax checking, assistance in typing names of variables and routines, management of multiple files, access to prewritten routines, and debugging. The following part explains how you can download Visual Studio.
Go to DreamSpark at (https://www.dreamspark.com/Default.aspx). The DreamSpark is a Microsoft managed site that provides professional-level developer and design tools to students and educators around the world at no charge. In DreamSpark page, go to students tab. Then create an account (if you already have an account you can skip this step).
When you have received the message that says you have successfully verified your academic status, you can go to the next step and download any software that you need free of charge.
When you are logged in, go to “Software Catalog” tab and find Visual Studio 2010 Professional and select it. A new window will come up that says get your software in 4 easy steps. Follow the steps in order.I would suggest downloading the software at school; otherwise it may take about 1 hour to download it at home. After finishing the downloading process, Launch Visual Studio. It will take you to the place that the file is stored (or you can go to that folder yourself). You need to unzip the file that you have downloaded and then run the autorun.exe file. It will start installing Visual Studio 2010 on your computer, which takes about 30-45 minutes. Beware that you will need several gigabytes of file space on your hard disk.
Finish up everything and you are ready to start working with Visual Studio 2010.