[Python-Dev] Status of C compilers for Python on Windows

Sturla Molden sturla.molden at gmail.com
Sat Oct 11 02:23:17 CEST 2014

Steve Dower <Steve.Dower at microsoft.com> wrote:

> I don't have any official confirmation, but my guess would be that the
> 64-bit compilers were omitted from the VC 2008 Express to save space
> (bearing in mind that WinXP was the main target at that time, which had
> poor 64-bit support, and very few people cared about building 64-bit
> binaries) and were not available in the IDE for VC 2010 Express by
> mistake. For building extensions, the former is resolved by the package at
> http://aka.ms/vcpython27, and the latter works fine since the 64-bit
> compiler is there, just not exposed in the IDE. Neither of these will be
> an issue with VC14 - 64-bit is far too important these days.

The 64-bit compiler is in VC 2008 Express as well, just not exposed in the
IDE. I know this because when I got the Absoft Fortran compiler I was told
to download VC 2008 Express, because Absoft uses the VC9 linker. And indeed
there was a 64-bit compiler in VC 2008 Express as well, just not available
from the IDE. If I remeber correctly, some fiddling with vcvars.bat was
required to turn it on. I never tried to build Python extensions with it,
though. In the beginning I thought Absoft had given me the wrong product,
because I had ordered a 64-bit Fortran compiler and I "knew" VC 2008
Express was only 32-bit. But they assured me the 64-bit VC9 compiler was
there as well, and indeed it was.


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