Visual C++ at TechEd Europe 2006

Visual C++ at TechEd Europe 2006

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Hi, I'm Steve Teixeira, the Group Program Manager for Visual C++.  Ayman Shoukry and I had the pleasure of spending the week in Barcelona to represent the Visual C++ product group at TechEd Europe, and I'd like to tell you a little about it.

We had four sessions dedicated to Visual C++ in all: Marcus Heege gave a whiteboard session called Extending C++ Projects to .NET - Do's, do-not's and donuts; Kate Gregory presented a session on Extending Native Code C++ Applications with Managed Code; Ayman talked about Visual C++ 2005 New Optimizations; and I discussed Visual C++ - Orcas and beyond.  I was really overwhelmed with the success and popularity of each of these sessions.  Marcus' session was so full that 50 people unfortunately had to be turned away at the door due to lack of space.  VC++ MVP Bruno van Dooren said of Kate's talk, "This was just the best session I have seen this tech-ed, or possibly ever." Ayman's session was also quite full, which was remarkable considering it was a rather über-geek topic on the morning of the last day of the conference, and he also enjoyed a lot of interactive attendee engagement during the presentation.  My session had about 300 attendees and my session review comments included no fewer than 13 requests for even more C++ content at future Microsoft conferences!

Ayman explains how to make code go fast

All of the Visual C++ speakers, as well as several MVPs and RDs, spent considerable time at the "Ask the Experts" stand in the Microsoft booth on the show floor.  Honestly, this is one of my all-time favorite job duties.  I love to meet with developers, hear how they're using the product, try to help them make the most of Visual C++, and listen to their thoughts on how we can make the product better.  One of the most common question themes at TechEd this year was around the area of developer agility and productivity.  In particular, folks see the great productivity features in the .NET languages and long for the same thing in native C++.  Things like refactoring, fast & rich intellisense, snippets, and visual class design/viewing are becoming de rigueur features for modern development tools.  This is, of course, a much more difficult problem to solve for native C++, but the good news is that it is an area of intense focus and investment on the part of the Visual C++ team.  We hope to have some of the fruits of this labor ripen in time for Orcas, and we have a strategy for continuous improvement over several releases beyond Orcas.

VC++ MVP Siddhartha Rao demonstrates the fine art of
"lollipops and boxes" COM diagrams to an attendee

Providing for greater agility was one of the three pillars of the Visual C++ product strategy that I presented at my session.  The other two strategic pillars that I discussed are: building encapsulations around strategic native platform APIs and providing interop technologies that allow for "friction free" mixing of native and managed code.  The former point means, among other things, that we intend to increase our level of investment in our native frameworks, such as MFC, in order to better support the native code features of the Windows platform.  The latter point highlights our commitment to ensuring that you will always be able to leverage your investment C++ even as you take advantage of managed code and other next-generation platform features.

These pillars serve to support our product mission, which is to enable developer success on Microsoft platforms by providing world-class native tools while bridging to next-generation technologies.  As you can see, we're coming right and out saying very clearly that native code development is the #1 priority of Visual C++, with outstanding interop support being our secondary priority.  This message was very well received by all of the conference attendees we spoke with.  In fact, it seemed to engender a sort of collective sigh of relief among C++ developers that, yes, native code development is still an important priority for Microsoft.

With the conference over, Ayman and I are heading out to the town of Huesca, where we will meet with a number of Spanish ISVs for a couple of days of in-depth work to help them successfully migrate to Visual C++ 2005.

  • Columbus points the way back to Seattle (provided you're willing to take the scenic route), but first

  • with the hi and mighty :-) great going sid! and am so happy to see you sharing space here !

  • A couple of new posts have appeared on http://vcblog : Bruce Forstall talks about Gauntlet, an internal

  • Hi, yes, I too am glad to see that there still is continued work on native C++. I'm sue you've heard it from many others, and of course this is partly due to the fact that native C++ is what I do and what I'm good at, although I guess I could switch to most OO languages without too much problems.

    But a large part of it however also is that where I currently work, we use native C++ for 2 reasons: we need cross platform code, and we need high performance code. And with all the hype and investment in C# and .net languages, we did fear that native C++ would not be continued at all (I had to convince my managers that VC.net would continue to compile native C++ to well, native executables!).

    So good to hear that it is still a priority!

  • Wow. Excellent read. I'm glad to see that there are still people out there who care about C++, the greatest language in the history of computer programming.

  • It's good to know that "native code development is the #1 priority of Visual C++". I read somewhere else that the success of C being used for over 30 years is partly attributed to its excellent abstraction of a computer-the hard box. I do think C++ inherits this and provides more power for application abstract.

    With an electrical engineering degree and years of programming in enbedded electroincs and industrial control, I am really used to such a thinking, while coding, that how my bits are mapped to the registers and memory segments instead of somewhere in the middle as .net does.

  • I am sorry if this is a rude question: How much can you decide your own destiny when the whole MS seems to be striving for being "managed"? Do you have a list of items towards "native"?

  • REFACTORING!!! WOHOOOOOOO!!!

    Please focus 1000x on refactoring and productivity.

    The class creator in Visual Studio 2005 is useless, intellisens is too slow and the rafactoring is non existent.

    Please enhance all of these items.

    Thanks.

  • ..Rather helpful information you have here. Grazie!

  • um... buoni, realmente buoni luogo e molto utile;)

  • 9 su 10! Ottenerlo! Siete buoni!

  • Interessieren. SEHR interessant! ;)

  • Ich besichtige deinen Aufstellungsort wieder bald fur sicheres!

  • Lo trovo piuttosto impressionante. Lavoro grande fatto..)

  • pagine piuttosto informative, piacevoli =)

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