I've had a number of interesting responses to my I Don't Get .NET post. (Along with Scoble, I'd single out the thoughtful input from Mike Amundsen.) What is striking is that every email contains a bulleted list. So one part of my confusion is explained - .NET is not one thing, it is several things. That is a strange branding decision by Microsoft, but so was picking .NET as the name. I guess time will tell whether they can overcome poor marketing with good technology.
Everyone agrees that .NET is at least two things:
There may be other things also under the .NET umbrella. The brand seems a little slippery, I think out of the blocks just about everything which came from Redmond was suddenly part of .NET, and lately they’ve been crisper. Like Windows 2003 server is now NOT being called .NET anymore.
As the fog clears, there is actually less to this than I thought. Perhaps that's what Microsoft wants...
So here's the net net on .NET:
Thanks everyone, I may not have it exactly, but I'm starting to get .NET.