The majority of code executed on a Windows PC is developed in C++, so it’s expected to encounter more issues in C++ code.

Recently, numerous articles have highlighted issues in C++ code, and even the White House has discouraged the use of C++ in favor of promoting Rust. However, does this perspective consider the extensive use of C++ compared to other programming languages? In this post, we will explore the fact that the majority of code executed on a Windows PC is developed in C++. What if most of this code were developed in Rust, C#, or Java? Would we still have the same incredible user experience we enjoy today? Let’s delve into this question and examine the potential implications.

The usage patterns of Windows users vary widely, but several key activities dominate their screen time. We can enumerate:

  • Browesing the web.
  • Writing Documents with Office
  • Playing Games
  • Watching Videos
  • Listening to Music
  • Development and Coding

Here’s an in-depth look at why C++ is so prevalent and how it contributes to the majority of code executed on Windows PCs.

1. Operating System Core

Windows OS:

  • The Windows operating system itself is largely developed in C++ (and C). Core components such as the kernel, system libraries, drivers, and system utilities rely heavily on C++. This ensures that the OS can manage hardware resources efficiently and provide a stable environment for applications.

2. Performance-Critical Applications

Microsoft Office Suite:

  • Applications like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook use C++ to handle performance-intensive tasks. For instance, Excel’s complex calculations and Word’s document rendering require the speed and efficiency of C++.

Web Browsers:

  • Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have significant portions of their codebase written in C++. The rendering engines (Blink for Chrome and Gecko for Firefox) are optimized in C++ to provide fast and efficient web page rendering.

3. Gaming

Game Engines:

  • Unreal Engine and Unity: While Unity uses C# for scripting, the core engine components are developed in C++. Unreal Engine, known for its high performance, is predominantly written in C++. These engines are used in many popular games, ensuring smooth graphics and real-time physics calculations.
  • AAA Games: Major game titles, such as those developed by Bethesda (e.g., Fallout, The Elder Scrolls), Electronic Arts (e.g., FIFA, Battlefield), and Ubisoft (e.g., Assassin’s Creed), utilize C++ for game development. The language’s ability to handle complex computations and memory management makes it ideal for developing high-performance games.

4. System Utilities and Tools

Security Software:

  • Antivirus programs like Norton, McAfee, and Windows Defender are often developed in C++ to efficiently scan files, monitor system behavior, and provide real-time protection without significant performance overhead.

Compression Tools:

  • Utilities like WinRAR and 7-Zip are developed in C++ to handle file compression and extraction efficiently.

5. Multimedia and Graphics Software

Adobe Creative Cloud:

  • Applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects rely on C++ to perform intensive graphic processing, video rendering, and image manipulation tasks.


  • This open-source 3D creation suite uses C++ for parts of its core to handle rendering, simulation, and modeling.

6. Database Management Systems


  • While MySQL is primarily written in C, some components and performance-critical sections are in C++. This ensures high performance and reliability in handling large datasets and complex queries.


  • Similarly, PostgreSQL uses C++ for certain extensions and components to enhance performance and scalability.

7. Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)

Visual Studio:

  • Microsoft’s flagship IDE, used for developing a wide range of applications, is itself developed using C++. This includes the editor, debugger, and many of the integrated tools and extensions.

8. Networking and Telecommunications


  • The core of Skype, especially the audio and video processing, was originally developed in C++ to ensure low latency and high-quality communication.


  • This open-source project provides real-time communication capabilities in browsers and mobile applications, heavily utilizing C++ for its core functionalities.


C++ remains a cornerstone in the development of many critical applications and systems on Windows PCs. Its performance, efficiency, and control over system resources make it an ideal choice for high-performance, real-time, and system-level programming. While newer languages and technologies continue to emerge, C++’s role in underpinning many of the most important and widely used applications on Windows ensures its continued relevance and dominance in the software development landscape.