When was .NET announced?
Bill Gates delivered a keynote at Forum 2000, held June 22, 2000, outlining the .NET ‘vision’. The July 2000 PDC had a number of sessions on .NET technology, and delegates were given CDs containing a pre-release version of the .NET framework/SDK and Visual Studio.NET.
When was the first version of .NET released?
The final version of the 1.0 SDK and runtime was made publicly available around 6pm PST on 15-Jan-2002. At the same time, the final version of Visual Studio.NET was made available to MSDN subscribers.
What platforms does the .NET Framework run on?
The runtime supports Windows XP, Windows 2000, NT4 SP6a and Windows ME/98. Windows 95 is not supported. Some parts of the framework do not work on all platforms – for example, ASP.NET is only supported on Windows XP and Windows 2000. Windows 98/ME cannot be used for development.
IIS is not supported on Windows XP Home Edition, and so cannot be used to host ASP.NET. However, the ASP.NET Web Matrix
web server does run on XP Home.
The Mono project is attempting to implement the .NET framework on Linux.
What is the CLR?
CLR = Common Language Runtime. The CLR is a set of standard resources that (in theory) any .NET program can take advantage of, regardless of programming language. Robert Schmidt (Microsoft) lists the following CLR resources in his MSDN PDC# article:
Object-oriented programming model (inheritance, polymorphism, exception handling, garbage collection)
All .NET base classes
Many .NET framework classes
Development, debugging, and profiling tools
Execution and code management
IL-to-native translators and optimizers
What this means is that in the .NET world, different programming languages will be more equal in capability than they have ever been before, although clearly not all languages will support all CLR services.
What is the CTS?
CTS = Common Type System. This is the range of types that the .NET runtime understands, and therefore that .NET applications can use. However note that not all .NET languages will support all the types in the CTS. The CTS is a superset of the CLS.
What is the CLS?
CLS = Common Language Specification. This is a subset of the CTS which all .NET languages are expected to support. The idea is that any program which uses CLS-compliant types can interoperate with any .NET program written in any language.
In theory this allows very tight interop between different .NET languages – for example allowing a C# class to inherit from a VB class.