Microsoft started building .NET in the late 90s under the name “Next Generation Windows Services” (NGWS). Bill Gates described .NET as Microsoft’s answer to the “Phase 3 Internet environment, where the Internet becomes a platform in its own right, much like the PC has traditionally been… Instead of a world where Internet users are limited to reading information, largely one screen at a time, the Phase 3 Internet will unite multiple Web sites running on any device, and allow users to read, write and annotate them via speech, handwriting recognition and the like,” Gates said. We are certainly approaching that vision.
Microsoft announced .NET to the world in June 2000 and released version 1.0 of the .NET framework in January 2002. Microsoft also labeled everything .NET including briefly Office to demonstrate its commitment and dominance on this new thing called the Web. But out of that grand FUD campaign emerged the very capable and useful .NET development environment and framework for both the Web and Windows desktop.
What are the benefits of .NET? .NET provides the best platform available today for delivering Windows software. .NET helps make software better, faster, cheaper, and more secure. .NET is not the only solution for developing Web software—Java on Linux is a serious alternative. But on the Windows desktop, .NET rules.
For developers, .NET provides an integrated set of tools for building Web software and services and Windows desktop applications. .NET supports multiple programming languages and Service Oriented Architectures (SOA).
For companies, .NET provides a stable, scalable and secure environment for software development. .NET can lower costs by speeding development and connecting systems, increase sales by giving employees access to the tools and information they need, and connect your business to customers, suppliers and partners.
For end-users, .NET results in software that’s more reliable and secure and works on multiple devices including laptops, Smartphones and Pocket PCs.