What is the best C++ compiler for Windows? This is quite an important question when someone wants to start programming. Because changing compiler is not a simple operation. For example, we make a program and it compiles fine under a chosen compiler. But when we try to compile it under a different compiling program, we most probably will encounter problems. For an experienced programmer it’s not a big trouble, especially if the subject program is not very complicated. But for a beginner it can be a very disappointing obstacle.
There are quite a few C++ compilers for Windows. Not all of them are free. And most of them are pretty old and basically obsolete. Choosing the right one is not an easy task. It’s a hard step for a beginner and it must be done somehow. Let’s make it simpler and name the most popular free C++ compilers for Windows right away:
Microsoft’s Visual C++ Express Edition
There are several more. So everything is not as bad as it may look. But let’s talk about those three.
The main stream compiler is of cause Microsoft’s Visual C++. But it is not free. And its free version Express Edition is kind of lame. The main difference is using MFC. For some reason some programmers prefer not to use MFC. Many used it in the past and continue working with it. In fact right now it’s supposed to be obsolete already. Therefore it’s not a good choice at all.
Dev-C++ and Code::Blocks are very similar programs in interface and bugs and the idea used. They are visually similar ad quite compatible with each other. They also use similar compilers. To be exact Dev-C++ and Code::Blocks are IDEs, Integrated Development Environments which use as their core similar compiler programs. And here we are talking rather about IDEs than about compilers themselves.
Because for a beginner compiler means IDE. That is a graphic interface which allows us to make compiler work without handling several accessory files, finding libraries etc. When working with IDE we don’t see those files and don’t have to create make and everything else files. So, to be exact, we are talking about the best C++ IDE for Windows.