If you need a small yet fast embeddable scripting language engine, check out Lua. Lua 5 now has a formidable array of tools and libraries you can choose from and there is also a Lua wiki. Lua syntax is slightly funky but similar to Python. Yes, it handles COM just fine so you can use it inside an ATL/WTL module (i.e. IE or shell extensions) to easily manipulate COM objects without writing a lot of duplicate code one has to write when using COM. LuaPlus is a variation worth looking at also.