Improve the user experience around VC++ Runtime Redistributables
Here are a few things that make depending on the C Runtimes difficult today:
- The filenames for the runtimes don't include any version information (even major version - 2005/2008/2010/2012/2015), they're all just vcredist_x86/x64.exe or vc_redist.x86/.x64.exe
- Only some of the installs show the full version information (incorporating updates) on the setup screen
- The "latest VC Runtimes" link (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2977003) is out of date as of this writing, and by nature will often be out of date. It only has the 2015 info due to another recent UserVoice item (https://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio-2015/suggestions/9719781-add-vs2015-links-to-the-latest-supported-visual-c).
- Search results on the runtimes yield the RTM version ahead of the Update 3 version
In general, users are often NOT on the latest version as these files are redistributed from a variety of sources that might be the 'first install' for a given user. Games are particularly likely to unwittingly contribute to this. As a Game Developer I'd love to help but I think VS is in a better position to do so.
I'd like to see changes made to make sure users can get to the latest version either completely silently (e.g. better incorporation to the Windows Update workflow) or have some kind of less painful experience around discovering and applying updates.
We frequently see users running an older version with a compatibility issue (particularly around anti-cheat software for example), and it's difficult for them to self-diagnose this issue, and remote assistance is also a challenge.
It would be great to have a straightforward way to discover what version(s) are installed and update them all to the latest support revision in a user-friendly way.
Rune Moberg commented
Finding information about vcredist_x64 is very frustrating. download.microsoft.com's search result lists everything on microsoft.com except the latest vcredist...
In this instance, even google.com fails to return relevant information.
Typing vcredist_x64 /? to get at the command line options is not very helpful on high DPI monitors (only the first four or five lines are visible, even though the font is ridiculously small!).
I have spent the last hour researching vcredist_x64 trying to figure out where VS 2017 hides it. The answer is VC\Redist\MSVC\14.10.25008 located in VS 2017's installation folder. But how will my build script locate VC 2017's folder? Probably by witchcraft, because there are no longer any environment variables pointing us in the right direction.