What is .NET?

.NET is a general-purpose software development platform, similar to Java. Atits core is a virtual machine that turns intermediate language (IL) into machine code. High-level language compilers for C#, VB.NET and C++ are provided to turn source code into IL. C# is a new programming language, very similar to Java. An extensive class library is included, featuring all the functionality one might expect from a contempory development platform - windows GUI development (Windows Form s), database access (ADO.NET), web development (ASP.NET), web services, XML etc.