The best PIC compiler in C is HITECH C rather than Mikro C. But Mikro C has an advantage that it contains many library functions useful to the user. So better for beginners go to MikroC & then go for Hi tech C.
+1: I agree. But the C Compiler inside the MPLAB software isn't that bad either. If you want to keep it really cheap, that is the best choice... However, it doesn't contain any libraries either.
Something about the MikroC libraries: They malfunction sometimes and most of the time the software written in MikroC runs on the simulator but not on the actual hardware. I don't know what's wrong but I got a C+ in Embedded Systems just because the project wasn't working. And those libraries aren't even so much of help. If you know a little bit of C you can probably write your own function and save them in header files...
I haven't used HITECH, so I have no idea how or what that is...
I don't work much with C, but I find products from mikroelektronika very good and admire mikroC and mikroBasic(this is what I mostly use for both PIC and AVR).
Hope this helps.
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I don't mean to be rude, but if you failed to make some project work due to mikroC, I think it is something wrong that you are doing rather than mikroC. mikroC is a great compiler with helpful libraries and there is absolutely no reason why your project should not work if it is done properly. I've done a few large projects with mikroBasic and there was NO PROBLEM in any of them once I cleared any problems there were in the hardware side of things.