I, too, have long felt that Microsoft has neglected the C++ development community. It's yet another case of MS pounding hard on the "new vision" (managed code, in this case) and forgetting that a huge percentage of Windows applications today are written in native code and ignoring that native code is a good fit for many new apps as well.

Every day, I see developers in various forums asking "What can I use to develop native applications?". And it's absurd, because the automatic answer should be VC++, but it's impossible to really recommend because MS has effectively abandoned it. So developers are increasingly turning to Delphi or begrudgingly accepting managed code solutions, whether they're a good fit or not.