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At SD West: Microsoft’s Sutter heralds C++ standard

Microsoft Corp. is moving to assure developers that its next-generation Longhorn operating system software doesn’t signal the end of the C++ programmer.

In a keynote address at the SD West Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Microsoft Architect Herb Sutter told an audience of developers and IT managers that standards work currently underway at European standards group ECMA and the International Organization for Standardization, better known as ISO, aims to ensure that Microsoft’s .NET architecture can incorporate C++.

Sutter noted that while .NET is the key underlying development technology in Longhorn (“We’ve bet the company and all of its tools on this direction.”), Microsoft is working with the international standards groups to ensure support for C++ within the ISO Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) standard. Sutter described CLI as the “international standardized version of .NET.”

“Standards are good,” Sutter said to his skeptical audience. “They ensure that things don’t change and protect us from vendor lock-in. I do understand your skepticism that there’s a Microsoft guy in front of the room railing against vendor lock-in. But it is our goal to have this work completed by year’s end.”

Meanwhile, Sutter said the latest scheduled release date for Longhorn is early 2006, when it will take its place as Microsoft’s fourth major operating system technology after DOS, Win-16 and Win-32/64.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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