It may seem on the surface that ASP .NET doesn't offer much more than ASP. After all, they both end up at the same place and there is nothing you couldn't do in ASP that you can do in ASP .NET. The main advantage of ASP .NET over ASP is the programming model. Instead of writing ASP scripts or VB web classes you can write your code in Visual Basic or C# and it renders the HTML for you. You are relieved of having to use the Response.Write method to create HTML yourself; ASP .NET does it for you behind the scenes. Well, actually it does a little more than that.
ASP .NET attempts something that has been very elusive ever since there was more than one web browser, universal browser support. Many previous incarnations of ASP and other vendors ' tools have made this claim, only to fail miserably. No matter what, you had to write browser-specific code in order to make sure all of your users had a positive experience. What you ended up with was these Viewed Best With disclaimers on web pages or a lowest common denominator experience that would work with the most common browsers, Internet Explorer or Netscape. If you had some other browser, good luck.
Universal browser support is supposed to address this problem. ASP .NET is supposed to detect the browser type and automatically generate the correct HTML for the browser. How well does it work? It seems to work okay for IE and Netscape 4 and above. I tried it with Konquerer, the Web browser that comes with Linux and KDE, and it workedsort of. Most forms rendered except it didn't seem to support the absolute positioning. It blew my visual design all to pieces because it went to flow layout, but the form worked, and some of my framesets came out really wacky, with paragraphs in the wrong places.
So, does ASP .NET solve the universal browser support problem? Not in my book. Microsoft needs to work on it some more. ASP .NET pages are still best viewed in Internet Explorer.