Stirring the Pot

Visual Studio 2005 is still a hot topic.

For whatever reason, one of my blog postings from a year ago, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, has recently received two more comments (not counting the typo) supporting my general position that Visual Studio / Visual C++ 6.0 is still a better development environment under Windows. My feelings have not softened since then, except that using XCode 2.4 under OS X really does make one appreciate some of the features present in MSVC.

Today, I had to do some support for a project that was originally built (by a major company) under MSVC++ 6.0, and which I had upgraded to add new features. Most significantly, I added language support for Spanish, Japanese, German, French, and Italian, in addition to the original English. The new programmer has been tasked, apparently, with rebuilding the project under VC++ 2005 Express as his first experience with the product, and it is a chore. Having described certain steps under the former environment, and then having to “translate” the procedures for the newer compiler showed me, again, the unnecessary complexity of the interface. On the [not] other hand, though, this complexity is much slower as well.

Within the last couple of months, I also read an article at Dr. Dobb’s entitled, Microsoft Cautions Developers About Visual Studio/Vista Conflicts. The gist of the article is in the first paragraph, “that Visual Studio 2005 won’t be fully compatible with Vista and that older versions of Visual Studio won’t be supported at all on Vista.” Brilliant. Of course, I have not been able to get Vista to install on a test system yet, so perhaps it makes no real difference.

Despite a few shining counterexamples, most of Microsoft seems to have lost focus on the reasons that Windows is the most prominent operating system: developers and users. Between the bloat and churn, there is also an arrogance, as though Microsoft no longer needs to even pretend that they are trying to do anything other than take our money. They still control the platform that provides most of my income, but things do change.

Once upon a time there was an invincible industry giant called IBM…

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