which Windows version to use for C++ development?

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undisclo...@gmail.com

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Jun 4, 2018, 5:25:42 PM6/4/18
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I haven't used Windows since Vista. Hardware is a Dell XPS-13 laptop that was originally purchased with linux pre-installed, IOW I don't own a valid Windows
license at this point. I'd like to multi-boot linux using the Windows boot
manager if that's feasible, but it's optional, I can always boot linux from
a removable drive if needed.

Q1: Which version of Windows is best for C++ development, with website development in PHP on the side? I need something I can legitimately purchase, not something pirated. Single user on a laptop, possible test-server on
laptop but nothing production, just a development box. I have a USB-connected
dvd reader if needed, don't know which version and subversion of Windows I
need to buy in order to stay kosher and not get ripped off more than
necessary. I definitely don't need a bunch of stuff for corporate update rollout and centralized maintenance, just a basic dev/test box.

Q2: Under Vista I was using VC++ 5.0, is that still the C++ development tool of choice? Under linux I've been using netbeans, what is the best tool for
debugging C++ on Windows? Is the developer permitted to control when his
tools are updated or is it whack-at-random?

Q3: Is the Win32 API still current or has it been superceded several times
with something new and bizarre?

Q4: I've been using linux since the version after Vista came out, is current
Windows still a sieve for spam-carried malware, what's the real deal?

Q5: Has Windows gotten a little less grabby about glomming the whole hard
drive?

Thanks folks.
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