When Microsoft chairman Bill Gates belatedly revealed .NET in June 2000, he offered a vague and confusing look at the future. But things got much more specific about a month later, when the software giant hosted its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2000 in Orlando, Florida. There, for the first time, developers learned about the various technologies that would make up .NET, a new programming language called C#, and a new version of the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE). They also heard the first official word on the next two versions of Windows, codenamed Whistler and Blackcomb, the former of which I had first leaked to the world.
I’ll have more to say about all that soon. For now, let’s focus on the reality of .NET as opposed to the marketing smokescreen that Microsoft had presented one month before PDC 2000. Starting with why .NET even exists. What problems did it hope to solve?