Visual C++ Q&A

In a comment on another blog entry, "Dev" asked:

When are the Visual C++ team going to make some big announcements on the new C++ features coming after Visual C++ 2008. I know you are very active in the new C++0x world, but people are really worried about what MS is doing or not doing with VC++ on windows, and the VC team seems to be ever shrinking to the point people are questioning if C++ on windows is even going to be a lead product for all the things we would like to use it for, but MS has been unwilling/able to tool us up to do, from XAML to web services. We could really use you speaking up now for our needs, and MS’s product plan to help with our unrest. Can you announce something soon?

This question actually has two parts. Breaking it down:

Q1: Is VC++ doing major work to keep VC++ a lead product and support XAML and other cool new stuff?

Yes, there are significant announced and unannounced things in the pipeline. Here’s a link to one good Channel 9 video by two of our senior VC++-ers, and its associated blurb:

Steve Teixeira and Bill Dunlap: Visual C++ Today and Tomorrow

How will VC++ evolve? How has the advent of managed code affected the evolutionary trajectory of VC++? What’s the VC++ team up to these days, anyway? How much time are they spending innovating C++, the native language? Tune in and learn first hand from two people who know the answers to the above questions (and much more); Steve Teixeira, Group Program Manager, and Bill Dunlap, Program Manager. If you want to know where Visual C++ is heading, then you definitely want to watch this interview. If you are a C++ developer, the message should be very loud and clear: Microsoft has not forgotten about you!

Q2: How about some news and announcements?

Dev asked about post-VC++ 2008 news, but let me point out VC++ 2008-related news too.

A great place to subscribe for news like this is the Visual C++ team blog. Here are some recent highlights that relate to the above:

July 27, 2007 Visual Studio 2008 (Orcas) Beta 2 Now Available. This includes a public beta of our next release, Visual C++ 2008.
May 31, 2007 MSDN article: “An Inside Look At The Next Generation Of Visual C++”. Covers some Visual C++ 2008 features, including enhancements to MFC, targeting Vista, and managed/native interop.
April 10, 2007 Visual C++ Orcas Feature Specifications online. Enjoy! Many of you will no doubt like /MP — parallel builds.

(I probably shouldn’t say this, but I just can’t help myself: /MP is actually already there in VC++ 2007, and I use it all the time myself — on a 2-core machine the compile phase goes nearly 2x faster, but there’s not much difference in the link phase. We just didn’t document it because we didn’t have time to fit-and-finish it, and if you try it you will find rough edges. For example, you may see oddly interleaved build messages in the output window, and if you Ctrl-Break a build you may need to do a full rebuild next time. You Have Been Warned. But have fun experimenting, and just don’t tell anyone I told you…)

Quoting from the last article, here are some more resources:

There are also some channel 9 videos on some of these new features (and other aspects of the work we are currently doing):

What about post-VC++ 2008 news? There will be other announcements in the coming months, because we have major stuff in the pipeline that may eclipse (no pun intended) even the above cool features. As those start to make their way out into the public eye, I hope you’ll find them as refreshing as I do.

4 thoughts on “Visual C++ Q&A

  1.  Visual Studio 2008 Orcas Beta 2 will not add a datasource in C++. (Menu Item: Data->Add New Data Source->Choose Data Type shows only object not database as this same item does in C# Orcas Beta 2).Microsoft admits that this is a "bug by design". See the following response from Microsoft to a person who first submitted this bug
    Hi David,
    Thank you for taking the time to report this. The issue you are reporting is By Design.
    Visual Studio 2008 does not support adding new data sources (database or webservice) to Visual C++ projects anymore. Due to VC’s changes in focus and strategy in Orcas and going forward and our resources availability to maintain Data Designer integration, we decided to reduce our support for this feature.
    Projects created with Visual C++ 2005 that contain data sources will continue to work as expected as there are no breaking changes in the editor or the build system.
    Thank you for understanding,
    Marian Luparu
    Visual C++ IDE
    Posted by Microsoft on 8/14/2007 at 6:30 PM
    Where does this leave their long term committment to C++?
  2. Lloyd wrote: "[some functionality is not available in VC++ 2008 that was there before, therefore] Where does this leave their long term committment to C++?"
    For those who are interested, this question was also posted at Soma’s blog ( and you can find a nice answer there by Marian Luparu of our team. The short version: We’re still investing heavily in C++. But we can’t do everything, and in the past we tried and ended up adding a lot of stuff not all of which got widely used, and as long as the features are there they carry an ongoing cost to maintain/document/etc. that takes away from doing other things that customers are actually clamoring for. So we decided to scale back on some smaller features that weren’t being widely as used (and communicate it and provide a migration path) so as to free up capacity to deliver more and better features in the core of development for native and native/.NET interop. Of course, that means the scaled-back features will be missed by those who were in fact using them.

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