Aha! Robert Scoble has stepped boldly into the breach, and explains .NET!
According to Robert .NET is three different things:
- .NET is a programming platform. As Robert describes it, .NET is a different way to create OCXs, that is, the newest incarnation of COM. (It took me a long time to get COM, too.) There are two parts, a framework (APIs?) and a runtime (the infamous 20MB .NET CLR). Okay, I get this.
- .NET is a set of protocols. Basically SOAP. Okay, I know SOAP, it is like XML-RPC. I find XML-RPC to be cleaner than SOAP <sorry;>, but I get this.
- .NET is marketing. This is the part which probably threw me, and others also. I'm fine with marketing, but labelling stuff with a "brand" which doesn't have an anchor is silly. Not to mention it dilutes the brand, and it confuses people :)
This actually helps, thanks, Robert. Microsoft should copy your post to the top of their What is .NET page. And the GotDotNet guys should, too. I still think .NET is a crummy name, OLE was better ;)
I'm going to mull this over; I'm not ready to say "I get .NET" - yet.