Using Visual Studio 2010 for C++ Development? We want to talk!

Using Visual Studio 2010 for C++ Development? We want to talk!

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This has been the Summer of Surveys for the Visual C++ team. We love surveys because they give us a chance to talk to a bunch of real-world customers and community members about their development habits for specific scenarios, most recently multi-device development. The aggregate data can be interesting – don't get us wrong – but the real insights come from speaking with a broad array of developers.

We have another survey. You should go fill it out because:

  • You have not upgraded beyond Visual Studio 2010 or still use it for C++ development
  • It takes less than 8 minutes
  • You can opt-in to learn more about Dev Lab opportunities with the C++ team (some of you might remember when we did this a few versions back!)
  • We want to understand the challenges around upgrading
  • You want to share your experiences to a team that will listen!

Thanks for your feedback and willingness to engage.

-Eric, Shaun, George

  • The package price is just ridiculous. I don't care about updates to the C#, Enterprisy features, GUI changes - all I need is a modern compiler for Windows. Yet, I have a choice: either to deal with bugs, crashes and non-conformance of vs2010, or shell out $1200 each year for a minor update. (Yes, I'm aware about BizSpark and friends, but that's beside the point)

    Yes, vs2013 is the best compiler that you are to offer now, but so was vs2010/12 just a few years back, so will be vs2014 in a few _months_. Let's face it: those should be compiler updates that are released independently from IDE. Charge whatever you want for the new GUI with ALL CAPS menu, then charge again to get it back, then again ad nauseam; but return cl.exe to the Platform SDK. People like me, who don't care about GUI fluff, could just plug it into vs2010 and call it a day.

  • The improvements to intellisense aren't worth the pricetag, specially when Visual Assist X is much cheaper and does a much better job.

    And the improvements to the compiler can be gotten from the SDK (and eventually from Clang).

  • I'm still using VS 2010. Let me tell you why. Every time a new version of VS comes out, I try to purchase an upgrade, but am met with extreme difficulties. I live in Japan, but do not want a localized product due to the constantly poor translation and also the significantly more expensive price. (I should note that I used to work for Microsoft Japan.) So I try to purchase the English version. However, the English version is not sold in Japan. So I try Microsoft Store. Microsoft Store will not accept a credit card with a non-US billing address... I escalated this issue in both English and Japanese for a few months and finally reached the group product manager who worked on the issue. However, in the end, I got on a airplane and flew to the US to purchase the product then flew back.

    I've repeated this process at least three times now. I'm well aware of the progress made in VC++, but you will simply not take my money. Honestly, I'm tired and don't have the time to continually do this every time.

  • How about because some of your tools in the 2013 product don't work on Windows 7. See prior posts.

  • If the new Installer Projects extensions for VS2013 supported Windows XP and Server 2003 as target systems, I could get rid of VS2010.

  • I agree with the people above. The compiler should be a separate stream from the IDE and it should be for free. Why tie this together so tightly, it only causes inconvienience and problems. At our company we still use VS 2008 for exactly that reason - all following releases seamed inconsistant and did in anycase not fully implement c++11/14 up to now. Most C++ devs are probably not interested in all the enterprise features - yet we are forced to upgrade the IDE all the time if we want a new compiler

  • Wow, a lot of vitriol in one thread.  Normally I don't jump in to defend Microsoft as I a usually as irritated with them as anyone else, but wow, in this case I will throw up a couple of counter points.

    If you want a free version of cl.exe, just download VS2013 express.  Yes it moved from the SDK to VS express, but it is still there.  You are perfectly free just use the command line compiler with VS Express if you don't want the other tools.

    MSDN subscriptions cost about the same as what one Visual Studio upgrade costs, and will let you get every version in every language (and an MSDN subscription is MUCH cheaper than a transpacific flight+Visual Studio boxed DVD).

  • I'd like to see the compiler back in the SDK (there's not much point in downloading the SDK itself now), but I'm aware that an old IDE + a new compiler may not work very well: think about some new syntax feature in the compiler - the old IDE will scream to you not recognizing the meaning of your code...

  • @SimonRev

    I think you not quite getting my point here. I'm very much aware of Visual Studio Express - which by the way is not an option for my company. We are 400+ Devs here, so an msdn subscription for 400 people is quite a big amount of money. Even if it was not for the money, we cannot upgrade the IDE on a 12 month basis just to get bugs fixed an a few more compiler features added. Its always a big undertaking and it would be a lot easier if the compiler was separate from the IDE. I also don't see the point in charging for the C++ compiler - which is in fact the case since u cannot upgrade without getting a new IDE (where most features are unused except for the plugin mechanism and degug features that are not present in the express edition). Last but not least I think it would be also a lot easier for MS and the VS team to untie the VS IDE from the compiler - it would make them a lot more flexible in release planning and bug fixing.

  • To clarify my previous post: The current situation is as follows - if you want new tires for your perfectly working car but MS keeps selling you whole cars. The only thing I want is new tires. I'm happy with the IDE as it is.

  • Thanks for the feedback. If you opted-in, expect to be contacted after the long weekend.

    -Eric & VC++ team

  • Hi

    Why can't I open a bug using Microsoft Connect (I am using VS2013 Express)


  • @Francis ANDRE, I am the express user and I can open bugs on Connect. Go to

    Guys please don't make FUD of something which doesn't exists. Prices sucks I agree. But atleast try out express once and see for yourself how capable is it. Not everyone is looking for Team Foundation support. Most devs use Git anyway. There are tons of features in Pro edition which lots of devs hardly ever used.

    Microsoft should reduce the prices and give some more discount for large setups so they can evolve with ecosystem. VS should have once a year plan like office 365, so no one feel bad about it.

  • At work we still use Visual Studio 2010 for C++ development.

    However I am fortunate enough to be in a team that also does C# development so have a Visual Studio 2012. I do all my coding in 2012, as Intellisense is greatly improved between 2010 and 2012.  It is more responsive and accurate, while there are times it does get bogged down it is far and in-between. One developer saw me use Intellisense and asked "How did you make it faster?", my reply "I upgraded Visual Studio".

    When I first started at the company, we were still using Visual Studio 2005 in 2011.  At the moment we are waiting for Visual Studio 2015 (14.0).

    Most our developers use the compilers and Visual Studio for its debugging, they use other editors for writing code.

    Having said that the new "Project Support for Natvis" feature should be a big hit in our organisation as it will make the  visualizers  more accessible and won't result in "I can't be bothered setting that up". Natvis itself is a lot easier to use then the old autoexp.dat format and will be easier to write custom virtualizers for our common types.

  • SimonRev,

    > MSDN subscriptions cost about the same as what one Visual Studio upgrade costs

    No offense, but apparently you have not been faced with this problem for over a decade like I have.

    The cheapest MSDN subscription that includes VS is $1,199.

    The cost for VS 2013 upgrade is $299. (The full version is $499.)

    The MSDN subscription is 4 times as expensive as the upgrade.

    Also, with the MSDN subscription, you are only licensed to run VS as long as you continue to subscribe to MSDN. Adding in the annual renewal costs for several years, the actual cost just for an upgrade is simply not feasible. A transcontinental flight (~$600) is still cheaper in the end.

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