I want to try out the Microsoft compiler since I heard it can sometimes produce faster binaries than GCC on Windows, but am not planning to use the VS IDE. I am trying to figure out what I need to download, but the Microsoft website doesn't seem too helpful. If I only want to use the compiler from the command line (cl.exe), do I only need the Windows SDK? Can it compile 64-bit binaries? or does it have same restrictions as VS Express? and does it support PGO?