Ioannis Vranos wrote:

There is an upcoming C++/CLI standard (currently draft, official  document expected in December 2004)

Just a note, we now expect to complete work on the C++/CLI standard in March and have it approved by Ecma in June. We wanted the extra time to complete and polish the C++/CLI spec, but another reason for the slip was that the CLI standard (undergoing its second round of work in parallel with the first round of C++/CLI) also slipped.

In case you're wondering "why 6 months," the answer is that Ecma's schedule, you get two shots a year to submit a document for approval (June and December), so any slip is 6 months (or a multiple thereof).

C++/CLI is more powerful than C#/CLI (including the upcoming C#/CLI one).

The design ideals of C++/CLI are the following:

1) Bring C++ abilities to CLI.
2) Bring CLI additional features to C++.
3) Leave no room for a lower level language in CLI (*including IL*).

BTW, another way of saying this that people seem to find useful is that, as of our Whidbey (VC++ 2005) release, C++ is the systems programming language for .NET.