Visual Studio .NET is the complete development toolset for building Microsoft Windows-based and Web-based applications. There are currently three editions: Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Architect, Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Developer, and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Professional. Within the suite of each of these editions are tools that support an integrated development experience, including Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Visual C#, and Microsoft Visual C++. Visual Studio .NET is designed to enhance Rapid Application Development, which allows you to develop Windows and Web applications in an efficient manner and to leverage the possibilities that each environment offers.
The Visual Basic and Visual C# programming languages are based on the Microsoft .NET Framework Common Language Runtime (CLR), which is fully Unicode-enabled. Although there are differences regarding Unicode support among various platforms, CLR hides these differences, so that you don't have to worry about them. You can now create Unicode-based applications without writing extra wrapper code to enable your application for Microsoft Windows 98 and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me). The .NET Framework CLR is supported on all Windows platforms following Windows 98 and Microsoft Windows NT 4.
Using the Visual Studio development environment, you can create multilingual applications for any language supported in either the .NET Framework CLR or in the Windows operating system. In addition, Visual Studio includes features such as a design-time environment and CLR components that are Unicode-enabled. The Visual Studio editor and the majority of design-time components fully support Unicode on a Unicode-enabled operating system. There are, however, a few components that do not support Unicode, including the Visual C++ Resource Editor.