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List of all famous software written in C++

Posted by akash shastri on 14 August 2012

I love C++ and I prefer C++ over any other programming languages when it comes to creating desktop
applications. Many people are unfamiliar with the real power of C plus plus and thus to make them
familiar with robustness of C++, I have compiled a list of famous systems, software packages or
applications and libraries written in C++ programming languages. After going through the list you will
notice that most of the apps and programs you daily interact with are written in C++ code and C++ will
emerge as a distinguished programming language in your eyes.

Note: This is a list of software written in C++ but also mentions some software written in C Language due
to the fact that most of the programs are written by combining C and C++. In fact, it is difficult to
separate C language and C++. C++ is a super set of C and it can be said as new version of C language
having object-oriented features. Thus, a C language program also becomes a C++ program inevitably.
Though software which are completely written in C are excluded from the list. Moreover some of the
software mentioned here may be using some other languages for some modules. For example, many
operating system mentioned below also use assembly language. Though I have tried to make the list as
accurate as possible, suggestions for additions and corrections are welcome.

List based on kind of software

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

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Google Chrome (based on chromium web browser)

Mozilla Firefox


Netscape Navigator

Opera and Opera Mini

Office Products
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook, FrontPage)

Apache OpenOffice

Corel Office/WordPerfect Office

E-Mail Clients

Microsoft Outlook

IBM Lotus Notes

Mozilla Thunderbird

Web Sites

Facebook - Several high-performance and high-reliability components are developed in C++.




Multimedia Players


Microsoft Windows Media Player

Apple iPod software

VLC media player

Database systems

All the major RDBMS are developed in c++.

Oracle database



Microsoft SQL Server

IBM Informix


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.

Microsoft Windows UI

Apple MacOS UI (Aqua)


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

Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler

Microsoft Visual Basic Compiler

Microsoft Visual C# Compiler

Microsoft .Net CLR

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++.

Implementation of C++ by various companies and organizations

Note: The software already mentioned above are not repeated.


All major Adobe's applications are developed in C++:




Acrobat Reader/Distiller





Many Google applications are written in C++, including Google file system, Google Chromium projects,
Google Earth, Picasa, Google Desktop Search and MapReduce large cluster data processing.

Note: It is not officially revealed by Google that Google Earth and Picasa are developed using C++ but
looking at the libraries these software use, it can be easily assumed that they are built using C++. Also
many reverse engineers have supported this.

Hewlett-Packard (HP)

Some of the HP's C++ apps are:

C, C++, Fortran90 compilers, and linker for the new HP IA64 platform

SAM (HP's system management utility)

Some of the networking libraries in HP-UX

Java VM core

Parts of Openview

Non-stop XML parser (originally from compaq)



K42: a high performance, open source, general-purpose operating system kernel for cache-coherent

ILOG: provides libraries written in C++ used for:

Visualization. This set of libraries is used to build applications that needs portable GUI's and advanced
graphical features.

Optimization. This set of libraries is used to build programs that needs constraint programming or/and
the simplex algorithm.

Rules. This set of libraries is used to build applications that needs a rule engine to fire actions according
to events that may happen.

Some IBM's ILOG customers include : Chrysler, CENA, Nortel, SAP, Renault, Barclays Global Investors
(BGI), TLC (Transport, Informatik- und Logistik-Consulting GmbH) subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn,
Telefonica, CISCO, NISSAN, POSCO, Sony Bank, isMobile, Southwest Airlines, Novient, Vodafone , Sabre
Holdings Corporation, France Telecom, Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom, Lucent Technologies, Siemens, HP


Many chip design and manufacturing software.

Vtune performace analysis software.

Various compilers and optimizers.


Bill Gates seems to be big time C++ fan. In addition to all operating systems and office tools, most of the
Microsoft's applications are built using C++. They include but are not limited to:

Visual Studio

Microsoft Exchange Server

Picture It

Microsoft Windows Desktop Search


Microsoft IIS

Sun Microsystems

Sun's compilers have major components written in C++, in particular the C++ front end, parts of the
Fortran 95 front end, and the SPARC back end. Parts of Solaris are written in C++, though the external
interface is usually crafted to look like C, for compatibility and stability reasons.

Other Software

12D: powerful 3D CAD, civil engineering and surveying software, made for civil and surveying industry
Autodesk Maya - 3D graphics and animation software. Many other Autodesk's applications are also
developed using C++.

Arium: Sourcepoint; Hardware debugging and emulation for Intel and ARM systems (incl. multi-
processor systems).

AT&T 1-800 service and provisioning systems.

Bloomberg: Provides real-time financial information to investors.

Cabot Communications: Portable set top box and digital TV software

Callas Software: software for analysis, optimization and correction of PDF files: pdfInspektor, Acrobat
Preflight and other plug-ins.

The CDE desktop (the standard desktop on many UNIX systems) is written in C++.

CERN data analysis - especially for large high-energy physics experiments - using the ROOT toolset and

eMule: Peer-to-peer file sharing client.

FlightGear: an open source flight simulator, using JSBSim, one of the flight dynamics math models used
in FlightGear and by other simulators.

Geant4: Toolkit for the simulation of the passage of particles through matter. Its areas of application
include high energy, nuclear and accelerator physics, as well as studies in medical and space science. The
Geant4 project is a world-wide collaboration of about 100 scientists participating in more than 10
physics experiments in Europe, Russia, Japan, Canada and USA.

Haiku OS: Major parts of the system (including most of the kernel) are written in C++.

hMailServer: Free email server for Microsoft Windows

Image Systems TrackEye and TEMA: World leading motion analysis programs (based on digital image
processing). Used by most car manufacturers to analyse the effects of crash tests.

mIRC Chat: Chat client being used by over a million people

Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking: An award winning continuous speech dictation system.

Nullsoft: All Nullsoft products are C++ (Winamp, NSI, etc.) and many are open source.

OGRE 3D: a 3D graphics engine

SAP ERP: Business All-in-One software.

SGI's OpenGL Performer graphics library.

µtorrent: µTorrent is a lightweight and efficient BitTorrent client for Windows or Mac with many

Vodaphone: Mobile phone infrastructure, incl. provisioning and billing.

wxWidgets (formerly wxWindows): A cross-platform GUI and tools library for GTK, MS Windows, and

This is not the end of the list, many other powerful software are developed in C++. If you are aware
about any other famous software written in C++ which is missing from the list, please mention it by
commenting below.