At the Professional Developers' Conference in Orlando last July (2000), Microsoft unveiled its latest architecture, .NET. Its various features and components were explained to the large audience by a number of speakers.
So what is .NET?The term is, essentially, a new marketing label which Microsoft is sticking on existing and future products. The .NET label now features on server products such as BizTalk Server 2000 and Application Center 2000, which are based on Windows DNA 2000 technology. The most interesting feature of .NET, however, lies in the development platform, languages and protocols which it emphasizes.
By bringing us .NET, Microsoft is presenting us with a new platform designed to facilitate development of interoperable Web applications, based on a totally new architecture. For Microsoft, .NET will be a way of "programming the Web," no less. Today, the first versions of Visual Studio .NET are available, and they enable us to sketch out a relatively accurate profile of how the .NET platform is likely to look in the long run.