Applications of C and C++ Programming Languages

The big companies like Microsoft, Google & Facebook uses C++.

1) Facebook also uses C++ extensively in its backends. Read this HipHop for PHP.

2) Bjarne Stroustrup also maintains C++ applications on his site: C++ Applications

3) Quora also uses C++. Quora's autocomplete feature is developed in C++.  Performance critical backend server side code of quora is written in C++ as said by Adam D'Angelo (The founder of quora) in his answer here: Why did Quora choose Python for its development? What technological challenges did the founders face before they decided to go with Python rather than PHP?

4) VLC media player is also developed in C & C++. (See here: VLC media player)

5) KGB archiver is also written in C++. (See here: KGB Archiver)

6) Unix is developed in C. Read also What programming languages are operating systems written in? 

7) C & C++ also used in embedded systems.

8) C is also used in database engines development.

9) C++ is still used extensively in engineering applications, such as high-end CAD/CAM systems.

10) Device driver development

11) C++ is also widely used in game development. 

12) List of all famous software written in C++ :

Operating Systems

Most of the operating systems are written in C and C++ language. These include Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Apple Mac OS X, Symbian OS and Be-OS, Google Chrome OS, RIM BlackBerry OS 4.x, Apple iPhone iPod Touch and iPad OS etc.

Web Browsers

  1. Microsoft Internet Explorer
  2. Google Chrome (based on chromium web browser)
  3. Mozilla Firefox
  4. Safari
  5. Netscape Navigator
  6. Opera and Opera Mini

Office Products

  1. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook, FrontPage)
  2. Apache OpenOffice
  3. Corel Office/WordPerfect Office

E-Mail Clients

  1. Microsoft Outlook
  2. IBM Lotus Notes
  3. Mozilla Thunderbird

Web Sites

  1. Facebook - Several high-performance and high-reliability components are developed in C++.
  2. YouTube
  3. Amazon
  4. Paypal

Multimedia Players

  1. Winamp
  2. Microsoft Windows Media Player
  3. Apple iPod software
  4. VLC media player

Database systems

All the major RDBMS are developed in c++.
  1. Oracle database
  2. MySQL
  3. IBM DB2
  4. Microsoft SQL Server
  5. IBM Informix
  6. SAP DB/MaxDB
  7. MongoDB: An open-source database, widely used as the back end store for web applications, as well as in large enterprises like Viacom and Disney.

Graphical Layers

Graphical layers are nothing but the Graphical User Interface provided by various operating systems in order to make the human-computer interaction user friendly.
  1. Microsoft Windows UI
  2. Apple MacOS UI (Aqua)
  3. KDE

Compilers and Virtual Machines for programming languages

It is amazing to notice that various compilers and run-time environments for other programming languages are written in C++. This means without C++, it would not be possible to execute .Net and Java applications.
  1. Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler
  2. Microsoft Visual Basic Compiler
  3. Microsoft Visual C# Compiler
  4. Microsoft .Net CLR
  5. Java Virtual Machine (JVM)


Majority of computer games and game engines are developed in C++. It is difficult to provide list of all games here but some of them are Doom III engine, Counter Strike, Sierra On-line: Birthright, Hellfire, Football Pro, Bullrider I & II, Trophy Bear, Kings Quest, Antara, Hoyle Card games suite, SWAT, Blizzard: StarCraft, StarCraft: Brood War, Diablo I, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, Warcraft III, World of Warcraft, Starfleet Command, Invictus, PBS's Heritage: Civilization and the Jews, Master of Orion III, CS-XII, MapleStory etc.

Electronic Art's video game engine is coded in c++. All Microsoft's games are written in c++.

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