.NET Framework v3.0

Thu, June 15, 2006, 07:59 AM under dotNET | dotNET
Ever since the announcement about the renaming of WinFX to .NET Framework v3.0 there have been many blog entries on the topic. Some we can ignore as they are of the "me too" variety e.g. "Here is the announcement. End of Message" or "This is good. End of Message" or "This is bad. End of Message". There have also been some posts about how "This is good. And the reason is X". Where X is usually something sales/marketing orientated; since we are developers, let's ignore those too.

So what are we left with? We are left with a subtle message that many seem to have missed (more on that in a minute) and also with some posts that are simply missing the facts so let's first get the facts right:

1. This is just a name change. Nothing more, nothing less. No schedules have changed, no content has changed, no direction has changed, and no relevant follow up announcements are planned. The technology formerly know as WinFX is now NETFx v3.0

2. It is not named ".NET 3.0". It is named ".NET Framework v3.0". This is more important than what you might think.

3. I have always described .NET as the CLR/engine, the framework/libraries, the compilers/languages and the tools/VS
a) .NET Framework v3.0 doesn't *change* any of that.
b) .NET Framework v3.0 simply *adds* WPF, WCF, WF, WCS
c) It does not add LINQ, Orcas or anything else

4. After .NET Framework v3.0 is released (with Windows Vista as has always been the plan) when you try to install it on XP SP2 it will bring all the v2.0 bits with it. If you have those bits on the machine already, it will simply add the 4 that you are missing.

If you grasp all of the above facts but still want to have discussions about the choice of name then I don’t see the point. Microsoft's marketing department has never picked the right name (as far as developers are concerned) for any of the released technologies. If we look at this, then it either means that developers are never happy _or_ it means that Microsoft marketing will never get the names right so, again, why bother? Just focus on the technology!

Now on to the more interesting IMO observation:

This effectively signifies the beginning of the end of bundled versioning. I look forward to the day where I get updates to the tools without having to wait for a new version of the CLR or getting some library bits without having to wait for the final RTM tools... Decoupling of release schedules brings us the bits when they are ready without having to wait for various groups to align with each other (which inevitably results in delays). The challenge now is to see how well this works going forward. Ask me again in a year…