History of C++

While Bjarne Stroustrup was working in AT&T Bell Labs in 1979, he faced difficulties in analyzing UNIX kernel for distributed systems. The current languages were either too slow or too low level. So, he set forward to create a new language.

For building this language, he chose C. Why C? Because it is a general purpose language and is very efficient as well as fast in its operations.

He used his knowledge of object-oriented model from SIMULA and began working on class extensions to C. His aim was to create a language with far higher level of abstraction while retaining the efficiency of C.

This new programming language was named C withClasses, but was later renamed to C++ (++ refers to the increment operator in C).


When C++ was first released in 1985, there were no official standards released. It was only until 1998 that C++ was first standardized which was known as C++98.


In 2003, a new version of C++ standard was published. C++03 wasn’t really a new standard altogether but a bug fix release identified with C++98 “to ensure greater consistency and portability”.

C++11 (C++0x)

The next major standard for C++ was released in 2011 and it was named C++11. Since, C++ committee was sure this update would be released within 2009, they unofficially named it C++0x. Later, when they didn’t, Stroustrup joked that C++0x went hexadecimal – C++0xB (C++11). Nice save.

C++14 (C++1y)

C++14 is the current iteration of C++ released in 2014. Like C++03, it included mainly bug fixes and simple improvements to C++11.

C++17 (C++1z)

The supposedly next iteration to C++ which is planned to be rolled out in 2017. It is expected to have many new features. Most of the features planned for this version are already completed.

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