Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack Released!

Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack Released!

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The final release of the Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack is now available for download.  This release provides several exciting features for C++ developers, such as a major update to MFC and an implementation of TR1.  These features are fully covered under Microsoft’s standard support policies.  


The Feature Pack is available free of charge to any Visual Studio 2008 Standard or above customer. The download can be found at 


Using the included MFC components, developers can create applications with the “look & feel” of Microsoft’s most popular products – Microsoft Office, Visual Studio and Internet Explorer.  Some of the interesting MFC components in the Feature Pack include:


·         Office 2007 Ribbon Bar:  Ribbon, Pearl, Quick Access Toolbar, Status Bar, etc.

·         Office 2003 and XP look:  Office-style toolbars and menus, Outlook-style shortcut bar, print preview, live font picker, color picker, etc.

·         Visual Studio look:  sophisticated docking functionality, auto hide windows, property grids, MDI tabs, tab groups, etc.

·         Internet Explorer look:  Rebars and task panes

·         Vista theme support

·         “On the fly” menus and toolbar customization:  users can customize the running application through live drag and drop of menu items and toolbar buttons

·         Shell management classes:  use these classes to enumerate folders, drives and items, browse for folders and more


More information on our new MFC support can be found at the sites below:


       MFC documentation & walkthroughs    

       Channel 9: New Updates to MFC


TR1 (“Technical Report 1”) is a set of proposed additions to the C++0x standard.  Our implementation of TR1 contains a number of important features such as smart pointers, regular expression parsing, containers (tuple, array, unordered set, etc) and sophisticated random number generators.


More information on TR1 can be found at the sites below:


       TR1 documentation              

       Channel 9: Digging into TR1 

       TR1 slide decks (recommended)            


This Feature Pack is only supported on systems which have the English language (ENU) version of Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition or above installed. Support for systems with non-English versions of Visual Studio 2008 installed will be available with Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1.

 The documentation for this feature pack has already been added  to MSDN online and will be included with the local MSDN documentation with SP1.


Enjoy all this new functionality!



Visual C++ Development Team

  • What about the offline documentation for this feature pack? Any plans or release dates for this? It would be very helpful! Thanks...

  • For documentation, for the feature pack, the docs will be online. Once we roll the features into SP, the offline docs will include such info.


    Ayman Shoukry

  • I am still interested in my initial question: can we control what kind of manifest will be generated, so that our executables can either have manifests for the RTM version of the crt, mfc or the new runtimes of the feature pack.

    I found no documentation if after installing the feature pack we can still build executables which run with the rtm version of crt and mfc.



  • Re: Monday, April 07, 2008 9:28 PM by lviolette

    # Redistributables not updated correctly in Feature Pack.

    The workaround is to change the manifest version from 9.0.21022.8 to 9.0.30304.0 (on my machine found under C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\redist) in the *.manifest files for MFC and CRT.


    George and Damien

  • Finally we get

  • It seems that you also need to have administrator privileges in order to install this.  The error message is a bit cryptic: 0x80070643

  • > MFC will continue to wrap any new Windows controls, so if Windows includes controls that have

    > similar functionality to the MFC controls, there will be wrappers available so you can choose

    > between using the Windows control and the MFC control.

    I was asking for the opposite. :) I don't want to be forced to use MFC to get these new controls. I find that MFC makes very easy projects slightly easier (and I use it for throwing together very simple GUI apps), but for anything complex MFC actually gets in the way and makes things more difficult, not less.

    If the Visual C++ team are going to invest in GUI controls it would be nice if they were available to all Visual C++ developers, not just those using MFC. Of course, it's easy to turn a Win32 control into an MFC object so you can please both groups of people by writing/buying Win32 controls and wrapping them in MFC. With an MFC-only control, however, it's not easy to convert it into a non-MFC control.

    Of course, anything is better than nothing; I'm just saying that controls like these would be useful to many more people if they were not tied to MFC. I also understand that the controls were bought from a 3rd party and maybe there simply were no non-MFC alternatives.

  • I'd very much like to use this, but I have some concerns about the licensing.  If I install the feature pack, will I have to agree to the Fluent UI licensing terms?  If not, is it clear which features of the feature pack do and do not require additional licensing, so that I don't inadvertently use a feature that then imposes extra licensing requirements on me?

  • I wish to update my current MFC 8.0 project and replace some 3rd-party code with Feature Pack CMFC* classes.

    But there's one question, Can it be deployed to Win 2000 after my upgrade? a more general question is: what OSes are supported by applications developed with MFC9.0+Power Pack?


  • You can deploy to Win 2000 after upgrading your project to the Feature Pack. The OS support is the same as VS2008. However the new features are not avaiable on the IA64 platform. TR1 will be available on the IA64 platform in VS2008 SP1.

  • [S. Colcord]

    > If I install the feature pack, will I have to agree to the Fluent UI licensing terms?

    You only have to agree to the Fluent UI licensing terms if you are creating an application that uses the Fluent UI components (aka the ribbon UI) in MFC.

  • [Pat Brenner]

    > You only have to agree to the Fluent UI licensing terms if you are creating an application that uses the Fluent UI components (aka the ribbon UI) in MFC.

    Thanks, Pat.  Our application is an MFC app, so I'm trying to make sure that a developer can't easily use a Fluent UI component without intending to.  Are the classes comprising the Fluent UI components denoted as such, by being in a separate namespace, or requiring a special compiler flag or #include to use?

  • Installation package is a peace of crap. After 10 minutes and progress bar frozen somewhere at 75% it returned with "fatal error"

    From the log file:

    MSI (c) (C8:F8) [22:25:12:187]: MainEngineThread is returning 1603


    VS Team: you have no rights to release such a junk even if junk is just an installation routine but not the content.

  • There was a question earlier about adding MFC to the Express edition.  While we won't be able to do this in the short term, our goal is to include MFC into the next major release of Express.

    Bill Dunlap

    Visual C++ Development Team

  • Get this error in 32-bit compiles with the TR1 update installed:

    1>c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\include\intrin.h(204) : error C2373: '_InterlockedCompareExchange' : redefinition; different type modifiers

    1>        c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\include\memory(994) : see declaration of '_InterlockedCompareExchange'

    Ouch!  The newer Windows SDK caused some problems like this with VC++ 2005, but 2008 fixed them.  Now it happens again, but within VC++ itself!

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