Copyright © 2003 by Steve Underwood
This FAQ discusses a range of common issues related to programming the MSP430. More specifically, to programming the MSP430 in C. Most specifically to programming the MSP430 using the mspgcc toolchain.
You've been programming 8051s for too long. :-)
Seriously, an MCU like the MSP430 programs well in C. You can always beat the efficiency of any compiler if you try really hard in assembly language. However, you do have to make a real effort to get substantially better performance on good modern MCUs, not just the MSP430, when using a good C compiler.