Every day, every single day, somebody asks on the Microsoft NGs and the Code Project forums whether she can use VC++ 2005 to write native applications that do not use the .NET Framework. It’s amazing how the confusing naming used by the previous versions, where VC++ 2002 was called VC++.NET 7 and VC++ 2003 was called VC++.NET 7.1, had a telling effect on the minds of people.
Anyway, to anyone who’s still in doubt, the answer is, yes, you can write purely native applications with VC++ 2005, and those can be Win32 API applications, MFC/ATL applications, WTL applications and just about anything native really. The Express edition does not include MFC and ATL, which means that you are restricted to creating Win32 API-only applications (other than the managed project options which you are not interested in).
I think the marketing folks at Redmond who work on marketing VC++ 2005 need to start a serious campaign in trying to put the message out that VC++ can create native applications and is not a .NET only tool like C# or VB.NET. Too much stress is put on portraying VC++ as a mixed-mode programming engine, that the fact that it can still be used as a native coding environment is often overlooked. Oh well, maybe they intended it that way. :hmmm: