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Does Microsoft own .NET?

Does Microsoft own .NET? In other words, is anything referred to .NET considered Microsoft, and anything by anyone else would be referred to as XML? Sorry if this is a dumb question, I'm just trying to get a handle on the whole .NET thing.
XML is an industry standard for describing data using a markup language derived from SGML. It was co-developed (and is still being developed) by several companies including Microsoft, IBM and others.

.NET is Microsoft's framework for software development on the Windows platform. Visual Studio .NET is Microsoft's tool (development environment or IDE) for creating .NET applications. Visual Studio .NET is akin to Visual Studio 6, but it is used for creating .NET applications as opposed to COM+ applications. Windows.NET Server is the next generation of Windows operating system for servers. The .NET server family is a set of ancillary supporting applications such as SQL Server, Application Center Server, Biz talk Serer, etc. Confused yet? The .NET framework is the base libraries and code you need to run a .NET application on any PC. It is a free download from Microsoft.

It can be confusing because when someone says ".NET", they could be referring to the Framework, the IDE, the concept of how we develop applications in .NET, Windows.NET or a .NET server. Phew. That's it. I'm tired now. I'm going home!


This was first published in June 2002

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