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Programming Windows: What is .NET? (Premium)

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Developers curious about the future of the Microsoft developer stack filed into PDC 2000 in Orlando to learn more about .NET in July 2000. It was an information-packed event, with lots of new technology and terminology. But what most developers were looking for was some clarity after the vague messaging that Microsoft had provided at Forum 2000. Exactly what was .NET, really? And how did the nuts-and-bolts implementation of this technology map to the vague promo videos that Microsoft had provided a month earlier?

According to Microsoft’s day one documentation, .NET is “Microsoft’s strategy for delivering software as a service.” It would consist of three main components, the Microsoft .NET platform, various Microsoft .NET products and services, and third-party .NET services. Here, of course, we are concerned with the first of those three components. Which leads us naturally to the next question: what is the .NET platform?

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