Difference Between Visual C++ and Visual C++.NET

Posted on 2005-04-19
Last Modified: 2013-11-25
What is the Difference Between Visual C++ and Visual C++.NET?
Question by:scooter1
    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    Visual C++ is a generic name for the MS C++ compiler and IDE released as part of Visual Studio. There were many versions of Visual C++ over time, starting obviously with VC++ 1.0 - which was 16bit (in the good old days of Windows 3.1). The latest version of Visual C++ is 7.1 (also known as Visual C++ .NET 2003). There is a Visual C++ .NET 2005 in beta at the moment.

    The first .NET version of Visual C++ was version 7 (also known as Visual C++ .NET 2002). So, sometimes developers would refer to Visual C++ version 6 as simply Visual C++, and to Visual C++ version 7.1 as Visual C++ .NET. The most significant difference between v6 and v7 was the introduction of the .NET framework and together with it the concept of "managed C++" - quite an oxymoron, if you ask me.

    You can still do "raw" C++ programming in Visual C++ .NET - and its compiler is heaps better than the version 6 one. There were a lot of incompatibilities between the version 6 C++ compiler and the C++ standard, but version 7 has addressed almost all of these issues. Visual C++ 7.1 is one of the most compliant C++ compilers available.

    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    Also the 7.x generation of C++ compiler is better, closer to the standard. And as a 'curiosity', MS mixed the MFC with ATL, e.g. the CString class is not only MFC now, it's a template derived class.
    LVL 30

    Assisted Solution

    >>Also the 7.x generation of C++ compiler is better
    I would not generalize it with an .x

    7.0 had only minor improvements over 6.0, and IMHO, 7.0 version is a very poor POST standard compiler.

    6.0 is a pre-standard compiler, so it's lack of compliance is acceptable, because you can't expect a compiler to be compliant to a standard that doesn't exist at developement time.

    7.0 on the other had was developed after the standard, and should have been a lot more compliant.

    7.1 is what I expected 7.0 to be.  7.1 is a good compliant compiler, and it has one of the most highest compliance rating.
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    I forgot to add, that the GNU 3.x compiler is rated higher in compliance then the 7.0 compiler.
    And the GNU compiler is a free compiler.

    7.1 is rated higher then the 3.x GNU compiler.

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