Quite simply, .NET is Microsoft's platform for XML Web services. XML Web services allow applications to communicate and share data over the Internet, regardless of operating system or programming language. What this means is that Microsoft wants everyone to migrate to the Internet for software and services.
The Microsoft .NET platform
includes a comprehensive family of products, built on XML and Internet industry
standards, that provide for each aspect of developing, managing, using, and
experiencing XML Web services. XML Web services will become part of the Microsoft
applications, tools, and servers you already use today--and will be built into
new products that are intended to meet a broad spectrum of your business needs.
specifically, there are five areas where Microsoft is building the .NET
platform today, namely: Tools, Servers, XML Web Services, Clients, and .NET
.NET Experiences are XML Web
services that allow you to access information across the Internet and from
standalone applications in an integrated way that saves you time and money.
Microsoft will deliver .NET Experiences for individuals and for businesses.
Some of the products that Microsoft is transitioning into .NET Experiences are
MSN(r), bCentral(tm), and Visual Studio .NET.
MSN Web site
bCentral Web site
Studio .NET Web site
Clients are PCs, laptops,
workstations, phones, handheld computers, Tablet PCs, game consoles, and other
smart devices. What makes these devices "smart" is their ability to access
XML Web services. Smart clients use software that supports XML Web services,
and enable you to access your data regardless of the location, type, and number
of clients you use. Some of the .NET client software Microsoft will offer are:
Windows CE, Windows Embedded, Window 2000, and the upcoming Windows XP. This
software will power PCs, laptops, workstations, smart phones, handheld
computers, Tablet PCs, and XBox game consoles.
Office XP Web site
Windows XP Web site
Mobility Web site
Devices Web site
In addition to developers
creating XML Web services, Microsoft is creating a core set of building block
services that perform routine tasks and act as the backbone for developers to
build upon. The first set of XML Web services being built, codenamed
"HailStorm", is user-centric services oriented around people, rather than specific
devices, networks, or applications. "HailStorm" is based upon the
Microsoft Passport user authentication system. With "HailStorm", users
receive relevant information, as they need it, delivered to the devices
they're using, and based on preferences they have established.
Web sites vs. XML Web services
Web sites are about presenting information to a user: they are the
communication vehicle for servers to talk to users. XML Web services offer a
direct means for applications to interact with other applications.
Applications hosted internally, as well as on remote systems, can communicate
via the Internet by using XML and SOAP messages.
Microsoft Passport Web site
Center for XML Web services
The .NET Enterprise Servers,
including the Windows 2000 server family, make up Microsoft .NET's server
infrastructure for deploying, managing, and orchestrating XML Web services.
Designed with mission-critical performance in mind, they provide enterprises
with the agility they need to integrate their systems, applications, and
partners through XML Web services, and the flexibility to adapt to changing
business requirements. The .NET Enterprise Servers are:
Center 2000 to deploy and manage highly available and scalable Web
Server 2000 to build XML-based business processes across applications and
Server 2000 for quickly building scalable e-commerce solutions;
Management Server 2001 to manage content for dynamic e-business Web sites;
Server 2000 to enable messaging and collaboration, anytime, anywhere;
Integration Server 2000 for bridging to data and applications on legacy
Security and Acceleration Server 2000 for secure, fast Internet connectivity;
Information 2001 Server to enable application support by mobile devices like
Portal Server 2001 to find, share, and publish business information; and
Server(tm) 2000 to store, retrieve, and analyze structured XML data.
.NET Enterprise Servers
Books about .NET
from the Microsoft Press Web site
Training on .NET from the Training and Certification Web site