This is the 4th time in 5 posts that you've parroted his opinions as gospel. While it is true that Bjarne Stroustrup originally created C++, he is not the be-all-and-end-all. The Standard is. By all means, respect his opinions and consider what he has to say, but take it with a grain of salt, think for yourself, and don't hero-worship him. It is not uncommon for his methods and opinion(s) to vary from, or even conflict with, those of the programming community-at-large.
That being said, MS-VC++ is a very good IDE/compiler, and he is not unreasonable to recommend it. I'll admit, I use it myself and I really like it. There are other compilers that are more compliant with the standard though (newer versions of mingw being among them).
in general, i do agree with you. but his opinion, AT LEAST, is an opinion like yours (not me, I am not a professional, yet) so there is nothing wrong with quoting him in a C++ forum. When I can quote him on a subject, I always do. I do this instead of guessing something that I'm not sure about, simply because I am not experienced enough to comment on everything.
I said "There must be a very good reason..." and I say it again, there must exists a very good reason that he, at least as an author of a good C++ book, chose MS-VC++ for his book. dont you agree?
I'm not saying mingw is bad or good, I use it myself (well, just because my university doesnt allow me to work with other compilers!) and I have no problems with it. For my own work and practice, I used VS 2008 even before I know how to spell or pronounce his name! I didnt even know he had a book for beginners.
So this time, based on my own experience, I recommend visual studio. you can download and use it for free from links in my previous post.
Just throwing in my grain of salt.... I'm mainly a Linux user so I may be biased.
I find mingw (as I assume it is the same as the Linux gcc) to be much more helpful in general. It is easier to know that your are compiling and the error and warning messages I find more clear (I often have trouble with the wording used by the microsoft compiler, and I hate having to go through menus to change the compilation options). Not to mention that all the evidence I have seen lately makes me believe gcc produces more efficient code and is also more up-to-date and compliant with the latest developments of the C++ standard (BTW, that quote from Bjarne is outdated by two years, a lot can and has changed since then).
it's ok, I agree I went too far :D but sometimes I'm scared that I'm gonna say something that is not correct and I might mislead someone (a beginner, like myself).
So sometimes I quote him instead of "guessing".
since this book is for beginners with no programming experience, I can agree with you, may be that's the reason.
That begs the question, when you post a quote, do you understand what the quote is saying? If you don't, you may be better off just leaving it alone.
It's important to "know when to say when". Just this week, I had to bow out of a couple threads because I wasn't sure about the direction the content was going. Sometimes it's better to ask a question instead.