On 64-bit platforms, the Visual C++ cross-compilers may fail to launch (e.g., when targeting X86 on a 64-bit platform), generating a Windows Side-by-Side error:
Failed to load system project defaults file 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\V6.1\VC\Bin\VCProjectDefaults\ATLStatic.vsprops'. The project cannot load without this file installed. Please re-install the product.
To work around this issue, download and use Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 or Visual C++ Express if you want to target a platform that is different than the one you are building on.
For more information on the updated Windows SDK compilers, see our post Updated Windows SDK Visual C++ Cross Compilers. The Visual C++ Team has posted an interesting article, What compiler does the compiler team use, and decoding version numbers.