VS 2012: C++ Advancements

It’s a great time for an old C++ developer like me. Never before has there been a version of Visual Studio with so much new stuff. Where do we start?

  • Full support for developing Metro Style apps, including native access to the XAML stack and the only programming language that can write Metro DirectX apps. The fact is that only in C++ can you write all the supported types of Metro apps. Add to that fact that since WinRT itself is written in C++ native code and with the language enhancements in the C++ 11 standard, this is a great platform for writing efficient and amazing apps and games.
  • Much improved C++ 11 standard support. This includes support for the new stuff in standard template library, range-based for loops, scary iterators, stateless lambdas etc.
  • Improvements in the compiler to auto-vectorize and auto-parallelize loops, to take advantage of multiple cores and the CPU’s ability to execute statements in parallel.
  • C++ AMP (Accelerated Massive Parallelism) support. A new framework that takes advantage of the hardware in your GPU to accelerate things like multi-dimensional arrays, matrix-multiplications etc.
  • Much improved Parallel Patterns Library that builds on the work released in Visual Studio 2010 with much improved performance, new constructs and new algorithms to support the following:
    • Task-based programming model.
    • Parallel algorithms like parallel_for.
    • Concurrency-safe version of std containers like priority_queue, queue, vector and map.
    • Asynchronous Agents Library, an interesting dataflow pipeline API to write highly parallel code.
  • Much improved Intellisense.
  • C++ code snippets.
  • In addition to Parallel Tasks and Parallel Stacks windows, Parallel Watch window is now available.
  • Improved static code analysis.
  • Unit testing framework enhancements.
  • Code coverage improvements.

The list goes on and on. The renaissance of C++ is roaming in the industry and Microsoft’s Tools are no exception. Now is a great time to learn and use C++. Take that chance!

For a detailed description of all the goodies, go here


Great, great feature!


For all things Metro & Windows 8 development, see our Metro Map here.


Happy coding!