Microsoft announces Visual C++ 6.0

Microsoft Corporation announced Visual C++ 6.0, the final component of its upcoming Visual Studio 6.0 suite, due to debut in September. Visual C++ adds new features while retaining the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) of the 5.0 release, easing developer transition. That's a nice way of saying that Microsoft still hasn't delivered on the common development environment for Visual Studio that the company promised last year. Still, Visual C++ offers enough new Internet and enterprise development features that most hardcore developers will want to come along for the ride.

"The development team has taken Visual C++ to the next level," said Paul Gross, vice president of developer tools at Microsoft. "Visual C++ 6.0 delivers on productivity never thought possible with C++ and, at the same time, improves performance and lets developers retain full control of their code."

Which is, of course, a marketing way of saying that the word "Visual" in the product's title isn't meant to be taken literally: There's nothing very "visual" about Visual C++. This is too bad, really, because tools like Visual InterDev and Visual J++ have gotten quite a bit more visual in 6.0 than they were previously, but Microsoft's C++ product is lagging behind in this category.

Where Visual C++ doesn't lag behind, however, is speed. Visual C++ is notably faster than previous releases, which were already best-of-class. Microsoft says that it has improved compiler throughput by as much as 30% on large projects and 15% on smaller projects.

Other new features in Visual C++ include the IntelliSense technology first seen in Visual Basic, and "Edit and Continue" debugging. Visual C++ will debut with the rest of Visual Studio 6.0 on September 2, 1998

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