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What Is C Programming On Windows?

The C programming language is one of the most popular programming languages. But what do we mean by C programming on Windows? Did you know that the C programming language can be used for Windows development, iOS development, Android development, Linux / Unix development and can be used for other systems such IoT devices? The C programming language can be used to develop apps with C or C++ SDKs and with free tools like Dev-C++ and C++ Builder Community Edition. The latest C++ Builder can be used to develop C applications in Windows 11, including x86, x64 and ARM CPUs.

What Is C Programming On Windows? The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie started it all
The C Programming Language 1st edition cover Source: Wikimedia

The C Programming Language was developed in the 1970s and since 1970, there have been many programming languages and have been many changes in C language, like C+, C++, CLANG standards C++99, C++11, C++14, and C++17. C++ programming language includes C language and is powered by Object Oriented Programming features like Classes, Objects and Methods. Still, this venerable language is popular, frequently appearing in the top 3 programming language choices – but if we consider its other variations and its usage on microchips and IoTs it is the most used programming language.

C and C++ Compilers are great tools to develop when they are paired with a professional C++ IDE for Windows app development. According to TIOBE Index (July 2022) and parallel to these results in many true statistic web sites, C and C++ programming language have more than 23+% share in total, C language has more than 13.13% share and if you add Objective-C, Swift, and other C and C++ related programming languages it has about more than 33% share in worldwide and note that these are recorded from online data only. There might be more C and C++ developers if we include those kinds of other operating systems which are offline or embedded systems and not included in these records.

The C Programming Language was developed in 1970’s and originally developed at Bell Labs by Dennis Ritchie between 1972 and 1973 to construct utilities running on Unix. It was applied to re-implementing the kernel of the Unix operating system. Later it is used in other operating systems. For more details of programming history of C and C++ you can read this article.

What Is C programming on Windows?

Since 1983, because of C++, generally C programming name is not used but most of the codes are based on classic C language, and these can be compiled with C++ compilers and IDEs. Sometimes we combine and use C functions in the methods of C++ classes. Generally, a C++ compiler also compiles C language-specific commands, most of the standard C++ commands like for()while()printf() come from the C language. One of the biggest differences between C and C++ programming languages is, C++ is an Object Oriented Programming (OOP) language that supports using Classes, Objects, Methods etc.

The C++ Compiler and C++ IDE features really evolved from the early and auspicious beginnings of Turbo C, C++ and Borland C++. Today we have a wide array of features supporting a rich and diverse amount of OS platforms running on thousands of types of devices encompassing everything from cell phones, watches, cars to a broad collection of IoT (internet of things) specialized hardware. If we look at the C and C++ programming languages it has more than a %33+ share in programming overall and is still the most popular programming language worldwide. It is really amazing to see the ways in which humanity is benefitting from the advances in technology that have accompanied the evolution of our beloved programming language.

Why C++ or C programming On Windows?

There are two types of programming languages: Interpreted and Non-Interpreted (Compiled). All computers (CPU/GPU) work with machine code (code that can be directly programmed by assembler codes) that tells the computer what to do (exe files are this kind of file). This is the most native and fastest code, but it requires writing many lines for simple things and is hard to generalize for all kinds of machines. A compiler (C or C++ Compiler, etc.) is a computer program that converts one programming language i.e., C/C++ code written with text into executable machine code with a linker.

Such code may not be as fast as assembler code, but the difference in speed is very small because both machine code and compiler-based code in text form are much more compatible with other CPU/GPUs and/or with other Operating Systems when you compile them on a machine. This is one reason why C++ is the fastest and most powerful programming language. Interpreted programming languages run inside executable runtime applications like Java, Python, or Visual Basic. This is why they are slower when executing operations, as they need to use external compiled libraries for faster operations. Again, they mostly use C/C++ compilers to build both the runtimes and external libraries. More often than not, the engine enabling the other languages are written in C or C++. Using an interpreted programming language is like being carried by a runner, while a compiled (non-interpreted) programming language is like running itself. This subtle difference turns into a huge gap when you run the same routine for example in face recognition, millions of times a millisecond.

Which compiler and IDE should I use for C programming on Windows?

cbuilder_11_512x5121x-6842885-6973897

C++ Builder (Current version is 11.15) is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files and LSP support for code. C++ Builder comes with Rapid Application Development Studio, also known as RAD Studio, and C++ Builder is one of the most professional IDE’s that work under RAD Studio. It is the oldest IDE (it began as Borland TurboC in 1990 and was later renamed Borland C++ Builder). Under the Embarcadero brand, it comes with new versions, features, updates, and support. RAD Studio’s C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs. There is a free C++ Builder Community Edition for students, beginners, and startups.

In 2022, Embarcadero announced the RAD Studio and C++ Builder 11.1.5 . C++ Builder 11.1.5 contains a number of improvements and quality fixes for C++ developers using C++Builder and RAD Studio 11.1, including performance improvements, display of code completion results, improved navigation, as well as a variety of quality fixes including resolving an issue for users of the classic compiler, issues saving all files in a project, and more. There are also several new features, including handling multiple navigation destinations when Control-clicking on an identifier, delayed indexing to reduce CPU usage, and a third option for LSP Code Insight behavior which indexes all files in all projects. We recommend reading the documentation on configuring C++ Code Insight in order to tune its behavior for your projects and needs.

What Is C Programming On Windows? A screenshot of the C++ Builder IDE showing the about box and installed libraries.
RAD Studio / C++ Builder 11.1 Welcome Screen

RAD Studio 11 versions are introduced several new features, enhancements, and quality updates in key areas including:   

  • Provision apps for Windows 11
  • Compile for Android API 30
  • Compile for macOS M-series (Apple Silicon) processors
  • Design on high-DPI 4k+ screens
  • View VCL Styles in design time
  • New & modernized VCL components  
  • Use enhanced remote desktop support to collaborate remotely 


You can download the free C++ Builder Community Edition

Professional developers can use the Professional, Architect or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder. Please visit https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder.

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About author

33+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux and some other operating systems. Dr. Yilmaz Yoru was born in 1974, Eskisehir-Turkey. He graduated from the department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University in 1997. One year later he started to work in the same university as an assistant. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from the same department of the same university. He has married and he is a father of a son. Some of his interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Artificial Intelligence. He also likes the graphical 2D & 3D design and high-end innovations.
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