C++Visual Studio 2017 is much more feature packed compared to the previous release that it would take several books to explain it all. At 48GB it is easily the largest ever released and that does not include the manuals which are another 12GB or so.

For game development, Visual C++ remains the tool of choice for AAA titles. DirectX 12 is the API for Windows 10 and the full power of the Windows SDK is available.

Visual Studio has Unity in the options for those who want to use it for simple games, however we have noticed some problems with games using it.  Unity is .NET based and generally C# is used for games.

Some third party tools unfortunately do not work with VC 2017 as their sponsors have been slow to update their respective SDK products.

Steam is the most popular SDK which is widely used by smaller development groups. The Steam SDK is available from the tools menu it the Steam client.  Source SDK 2013 has single player and multiplayer with a dedicated server component.

AMD is sponsoring GPUopen which has many DX11 components that can be used for basic game engine development.

NVIDIA has several components that are unfortunately too tightly bound to their hardware to be suitable. Eventually NVIDIA will figure it out when they find fewer users of their tools.

Oracle has abandoned their proprietary licensing for Java in 2006 so Visual Studio now bundles it along with the source code for those who want to use it. We have used PHP on the server side and JavaScript on the client side which are all open and free of any intellectual property claims or are GNU licensed.

This site uses WordPress which is GNU licensed as is the theme we use and the MySQL database and Linux VM are all open source. Open source powers the vast majority of websites on the internet and proprietary systems are finding support waning fast.

Microsoft tried to compete with Expression Design which is actually a rather good package for images. Now this program is made freely available from Microsoft. We feel it is an an excellent tool for any web developer. We found it amusing to see their old forum had nothing to do with Expression Design. All of the questions were over web development. Expression Design is actually still a useful piece of software to have on hand when some advanced image editing is needed. Our blue banner is made with Expression Design.