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Which version (if any) of Visual Studio should I buy?

    Question

  • Good afternoon!

    I currently use Visual Studio 2005, and I'm curious if I should upgrade to 2008.

    I have been writing commerical Windows applications in C since 1993. In the old days, I would buy ads in computer magazines and sell CDs to people through an 800-number. Now, of course, I sell directly to consumers on the internet. However, my programming style hasn't changed much. The products are still primarly in C (about 10% of the code is C++, and it all compiles as C++ files). The code is still "structured", not object-oriented. And the applications do not feature 3-D graphics or internet connectivity.

    When I read about new versions of Visual Studio, it seems like Microsoft is adding a lot of features that I don't need. Although my company has had as many as 10 programmers on payroll, I have found that it is more profitable, and more enjoyable, to be a single-person shop.

    So, is there any reason I should upgrade to Visual Studio 2008? If so, should I just buy the C++ "Express" edition (since I only ever code in C and C++). Or should I buy the full suite? Do I need to renew my MSDN subscription for any reason?

    My primary goals for an upgrade would be:

    1) Improved application speed (just by recompiling).
    2) Profiling tools (to help me manually make performance improvements).
    3) Better browsing and debugging tools.
    4) Integrated tools that help with code cleanup and refactoring (although I'm a bit of a curmudgeon and I might not like whatever MS had integrated, I'm still willing to try something if others recommend it).

    I don't care about "Team" tools, and that seems to be the only thing the MS web site cares about. We used to use Perforce because it was much better IMHO that anything MS included. However, I expect to be a 1-man development team for the next several years, so I no longer need any of these products.

    Thanks!

    ST
    Saturday, March 14, 2009 8:17 PM

Answers

  • VC++ 2008 Express is free, so you can try that any time. You can get VS 2008 Pro on a 60-day trial I believe.

    However, given your profile there seems to be little benefit in moving to VC++ 2008. If anything you may as well wait for VS 2010 now. It will probably be out by the end of the year. But even then it probably won't have much for someone who does mostly C.

    Re: refactoring there is no built-in refactoring for C/C++, although there may be in VC++ 2010. There is free licensed third-party refactoring for VC++ 2008 (and 2005 in fact) from Dev Express. There is also commercial refactoring from Visual Assist.

    Kevin
    • Marked as answer by YiChun Chen Wednesday, March 18, 2009 2:29 AM
    Saturday, March 14, 2009 9:46 PM

All replies

  • I should probably add that I'm running Windows Vista Premium 64-bit HOME Edition.

    I realize that most programmers are running XP or Vista Business. But most of my customers are using Vista Home, so I choose to develop under it.

    (Again, I know that I could install multiple OSes on the same system, and I have done that in the past. But I have found that I find and fix the most bugs when I "eat my own dog food", and that means spending 90% of my day using Vista Home).

    Thanks!

    ST
    Saturday, March 14, 2009 8:20 PM
  • VC++ 2008 Express is free, so you can try that any time. You can get VS 2008 Pro on a 60-day trial I believe.

    However, given your profile there seems to be little benefit in moving to VC++ 2008. If anything you may as well wait for VS 2010 now. It will probably be out by the end of the year. But even then it probably won't have much for someone who does mostly C.

    Re: refactoring there is no built-in refactoring for C/C++, although there may be in VC++ 2010. There is free licensed third-party refactoring for VC++ 2008 (and 2005 in fact) from Dev Express. There is also commercial refactoring from Visual Assist.

    Kevin
    • Marked as answer by YiChun Chen Wednesday, March 18, 2009 2:29 AM
    Saturday, March 14, 2009 9:46 PM