After being thrashed in the enterprise software market by the likes of Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM and Linux, Microsoft Corp. is pinning its comeback hopes on its new application framework, .Net. Although the freedom to use practically any programming language is key to .Net's appeal, developers are most excited about C#, the C++ derivative that Microsoft created with .Net in mind. The disruptive potential of these technologies is enormous because they change the rules for all types of Windows development, from desktop software to Web-enabled enterprise solutions.
Most of the changes are for the better. The .Net framework and C# extend Windows' reach by making powerful but often-overlooked Windows facilities -- including messaging, transactions and XML -- more accessible to developers. The combination of C# and Visual Studio.Net make the creation and deployment of Web services almost automatic. And Web applications written for ASP.Net and deployed to Internet Information Server 6.0 -- the Web server component of Windows.Net -- will enjoy substantial performance, stability and scalability advantages over traditional Active Server Pages (ASP) applications.
News source: ComputerWorld - Microsoft .Net and C#