You can use ATL to provide effective windowing for high-performance Win32 applications. ATL isn't an application framework like MFC, so you do have to work a little harder to get a boilerplate application up and running. The ATLCON sample provides some (unsupported) thin control wrappers, which make programming the common controls cleaner. If you need collections, you should become familiar with STL, which is full of powerful features. We hope to see more application development support from the ATL team in future versions of Visual C++.