If there is one thing you can rely on Microsoft to do it’s take really cool codenames and turn them into bland but informative product names. So none of us were at all surprised when Avalon and Indigo became WPF and WCF respectively, but the latest change is slightly worrying. WinFX, the catch all for the new managed extensions to Windows that we’ve been expecting since the announcement of Longhorn all those years ago, has been renamed. WinFX is now the Microsoft .NET Framework v3.0. Wow. See what happens when you take the marketing department for a walk and then let them piss up against all your work?
Microsoft .NET Framework v3.0, prerequisites for which include the Microsoft .NET Framework v2.0, is the collection of all of .NET 2.0 plus WinFX. Oh and all of your code will compile against the CLR v2.0 and not LINQ, which we had all been assuming would be C#.NET 3.0, and that’s not even mentioning Atlas which we’d been led to believe would be ASP.NET 3.0. Lovely.
Now this isn’t so bad for me and the other early adopters that have been working with this technology, we’ll continue to know this as WinFX for quite some time I expect, but Fred Blogs on the street, that’s a different matter.
Anyone who has had me force a futility on them, has witnessed the annoyance of having to install .NET 2.0 on their machine, now WinFX, the runtime for which was about 30mb will now, as .NET 3.0, have the .NET 2.0 runtime bundled with it, doubling it in size.
Now hopefully MS will realise this and bundle them separately still but even if they do you are still left with a lot of confusion.
So, just to clarify we have.
.NET 1.0 and .NET 1.1 still the most prevalent framework, but which won’t be included with Vista, but will still be compatible, supports back to Windows NT 4.0.
.NET 2.0, only released in November of last year, will come with Windows Vista and is supported back to Windows 2000.
.NET 3.0, currently in development and until recently known as WinFX, includes everything in .NET 2.0 plus Windows Communications Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Workflow (WF) and the recently renamed Windows CardSpace (WCC) née ‘InfoCard’. Requires Windows XP SP2 / Windows Server 2003 SP 1 and greater and will ship with Windows Vista.
.NET 3.5? The next version of the CLR, will include LINQ and other such niceties. Currently within the catchall codename ‘Orcas’. Not to be confused with the ‘Orcas’ Extensions for VS2005 which are part of WinFX/.NET 3.0.