.NET framework is a Microsoft technology which allows one to port programs developed in Microsoft technologies to multiple platforms. It also allows the developers to integrate with other tools and technologies making it faster to develop compelling applications.
The .NET framework includes:
- Common Language Runtime that provides an abstraction layer over the Operating System
- Base Class Libraries for low level programming tasks
- Development framework for reusable solutions for larger programming tasks.
.NET framework 4 has been released finally. It includes the following enhancements:
- Improvements in Common Language Runtime (CLR) and Base Class Library (BCL)
- Innovations in the Visual Basic and C# languages, for example statement lambdas, implicit line continuations, dynamic dispatch, and named/optional parameters.
- Improvements in Data Access and Modeling
- Enhancements to ASP.NET
- Improvements in Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
- Improvements to Windows Workflow (WF) that enable developers to better host and interact with workflows.
- Improvements to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) such as support for WCF Workflow Services enabling workflow programs with messaging activities, correlation support.
- Innovative new parallel-programming features such as parallel loop support, Task Parallel Library (TPL), Parallel LINQ (PLINQ), and coordination data structures which let developers harness the power of multi-core processors.
dotNET framework is available for download from the Microsoft website but they give a web installer which after installation downloads the actual required files. You can downloaded .NET framework 4 for offline installation from the below location: