Personally I think the MS marketing team really did rop the ball.  They we're so busy promoting .NET that when VC 7.0 (aka 2002) and VC 7.1 (2003) shipped they forgot to mention all the tons of cool purely-native improvements in the product.  Well now in Whidbey (8.0 Beta 1 is availible for download), they've finally got the right idea.  Yes, we're still doing a lot of cool .NET stuff for C++ (so you can play with the hardware and enjoy a garbage collector), but we're also taking some time to mention all the other stuff that's been done: better standards conformance, better native code-gen, support for the latest instruction sets and processors, more secure CRT APIs, jsut to name a few.

Anyway, some people in the VC org have put together an online chat where you ask real MS workers about the next version of VC!


Online Chat: Visual C++ 2005 Beta

Join the Visual C++ team to discuss your questions and comments on the Beta
release of Visual C++ 2005. Whether you are a first-time user of the Visual
C++ Express Edition Beta (http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/visualc) or
an experienced developer exploring the full Visual Studio 2005 suite, we
want to answer your questions to provide you with a smooth development
experience. So please bring your questions and issues to our attention and
get the answers you need from the Visual C++ team.

August 19, 2004
12:00 - 1:00 P.M. Pacific time
3:00 - 4:00 P.M. Eastern time
19:00 - 20:00 GMT

Chat time for cities world-wide:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?day=19&month=8&year=2004&hour=12&min=0&sec=0&p1=234&sort=1

To add this chat to you calendar:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/chats/outlook_reminders/MSDN_VC2005B_Aug19_04.ics

For more info on MSDN chats, including other upcoming developer chats, chat
archives, and other info see http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/chats


--Grant