.NET is Microsoft's platform for XML Web Services the next generation of software that connects our world of information, devices, and people in a unified, personalized way. The .NET platform enables the creation and use of XML-based applications and Web sites as services that share and combine information. These services can target any platform or smart device to provide tailored solutions for organizations and individuals.
The .NET platform includes a comprehensive family of products, built on industry XML and Internet standards. This family of products includes tools such as Visual Studio .NET, servers such as SQL Server and BizTalk server, and building block services such as .NET Passport and .NET MyServices. These all help developers create applications that are rich in features. .NET will become part of the Microsoft applications, tools, and servers you already use today as well as new products that extend XML Web Service capabilities to all of your business needs.
In addition to these XML Web Services, .NET will also allow you to build more traditional applications. Using .NET, you can build Windows desktop applications, Windows Services, Web sites, console applications, and components for use in other applications. Any of these applications can also be used in conjunction with the XML Web Services applications you create.