Reader Jim Mowrey wrote to ask about Microsoft Visual C++ installations shown in his Add & Remove Programs list:
I’m hoping you can give me a answer on this. I’ve searched around and have not found a good answer.
I have 5 entries in my Add & Remove Programs in Control Panel for Microsoft Visual C++.
Do we need Microsoft Visual C++? If we do, do we need so many versions? Can we just retain the latest version?
I thought that was for programing, and I don’t do any of that.
Thanks for any light you can shed on this.
Some programs will install runtime libraries from Visual C++ in order for them to have all the program functions they provide.
Multiple versions could result from updates and sloppy installations – or it could relate to multiple programs installing the files. Or, the multiple versions could be adding additional functions. I have no way to know.
I checked one of my Windows XP Professional SP3 computers — it did not have any Microsoft Visual C++ listings under Add and Remove Programs.
My 32-bit Windows 7 Professional notebook has two files — one Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable and one a fix that came via Microsoft Updates — Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 ATL Update kb973923 — x86 8.0.50727.4053.
I don’t think we can determine which programs require them without uninstalling programs and seeing what fails. That may or may not be worth the trouble.