The C++ programming language invented by Bjarne Stroustrup in the 1980s is one of the most pervasive computing languages in the world. A C++ compiler exists for virtually every hardware platform. No compiler is 100% compliant with the ISO/ANSI C++ Standard published in 1998. ARM C++, described in The Annotated C++ Reference Manual
in 1990, was the basis for the ISO standardization. The free and open source GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is generally considered to have the most standards compliant and feature-rich compiler for C++. Microsoft® Visual C++®, on the other hand, has been about 60% compliant, and Microsoft made no effort to rectify the problem until 2002. As of this writing it is still not compliant.
Another significant consideration with the latest version of Visual C++, dubbed Visual C++ .NET 2003, is extensions to the language for the writing of "managed C++" code. Any features of the language not conforming to the C++ standard should be very thoughtfully considered before use. Using extensions to the language effectively negates code's portability to other compilers which would not support these extensions. Use of managed C++ code further locks developers into staying with Microsoft products.