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Microsoft Build Details The C++ State Of The Nation

Microsoft wrapped up its Build 2012 conference in Redmond at the start of this month with a heavy Windows 8 flavored agenda that also dove deep on languages — and, in particular, C++.

In his role as lead Visual C++ language architect at Microsoft and chair of the ISO C++ standards committee Herb Sutter gave a session entitled "The Future of C++" for conference attendees.

Sutter's intention was to analyze and explain the power of modern C++ and discuss how contemporary usage of (and investment into) the language continues to grow.

Of special note were three "impactful" developments for users of C++ as Sutter currently views the development landscape:

IMPACT 1: Microsoft has worked to produce a new Visual C++ compiler, which features explicit conversion operators, raw string literals, and delegation constructors (and more)… This has been released to Community Technology Preview (CTP) and is available now for download.

NOTE: Visual C++ Compiler November 2012 CTP contains a preview release of the Visual C++ compiler that adds the following C++11 features to the list of features already supported in Visual Studio 2012: uniform initialization, initializer lists, variadic templates, function template default arguments, delegating constructors, explicit conversion operators, and raw strings.

Visual C++ Compiler November 2012 CTP as detailed here.

IMPACT 2: Microsoft has worked with Intel, Google, IBM, and several other participating companies to form the Standard C++ Foundation. This body now exists to complement the C++ standards body by promoting the correct understanding of modern Standard C++ and facilitate its use on all compilers and platforms.

NOTE: Reports suggest that the next major release of C++ will drop in 2017 with smaller incremental releases still planned along the way by 2014.

IMPACT 3: Content on the Standard C++ Foundation is found at http://isocpp.org/. Resources here include C++ libraries, up-to-date information about how clean, safe, and fast C++ is today, and information about the Standard C++ Foundation itself.

NOTE: Current areas of focus for both the Standard C++ Foundation and working groups within Microsoft itself are thought to include efforts directed towards concurrency, filesystem access, and networking functionality.

The Foundation specifies that it is funded by sponsor members, book royalties, and (in the future possibly) other sources. It uses these funds primarily for website development and maintenance expenses. Looking forward, the group says that it may also be able to commission new articles or sponsor conferences.

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