.NET is the future. If you think otherwise, either you're in deep denial or you simply haven't been paying attention. Some people may not like it, but Microsoft Corporation is one of the most powerful entities in the computer world, and if Microsoft says something is the future, then there is a very high probability that it will be. Guess what, unless you've been locked away in a cell someplace without Internet access, you already know that Microsoft has said that .NET is the future. So, my original statement, ".NET is the future," can't be anything other than true (quod erat demonstrandum, or QED).
If you realized this, you probably sat down and started playing with C#. You didn't want to be left behind. As you continued playing, you thought, "This is nice, but why do I have to learn a completely new language just to get the benefits of .NET?" Then it hit you like a ton of bricks: You finally realized that you don't have to learn a new language.
You suddenly remember reading someplace that .NET is language independent. Hey, that means you can program it using any language. Well, not quite any language. The language, of course, has to be implemented for .NET.
You're in luck. Microsoft has implemented C++ for .NET. Microsoft calls the implementation Managed Extensions for C++ or, more commonly, Managed C++.
This book is about writing .NET applications. It's designed to start you with a clean slate, wiping away any need for developing COM, DCOM, COM+, or ActiveX components. Instead, it shows you how to code in the world of .NET, free of all that unneeded baggage.
More important, this is a book about writing .NET applications using C++. You'll cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. In the end, you'll be proficient at developing .NET applications, be they Console applications, Windows applications, Web applications, or Web services.
While you're learning the ins and outs of .NET application development, you'll also be learning the syntax of C++, both old and new to .NET. You also will gain a good understanding of the .NET architecture.