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.NET 2.0 Ready for Prime Time?

I just wanted to get everyone's thoughts on developing against .NET 2.0 as opposed to 1.1 for desktop applications. I think 1.1 is to the point where there is no problem writing desktop software as the saturation of the framework is sufficient that very few users have to install anything.

However, now that I have my shiny new Visual Studio 2005, I am wondering whether the .NET Framework 2.0 is sufficiently widespread that it won't inconvenience too many users. Luckily, with the release of MSBEE, it is possible to target .NET 1.1 using Visual Studio 2005, and there is no specific functionality that I need in 2.0.

Just wanted to get everyone's thoughts on this.

(For more info about MSBEE, check out
Cade A. Fassett Send private email
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
One thing to consider, it won't come with a new install of a pc until Vista last I'd heard (I believe it was from MSes MicroISV podcasts) so unless they are downloading it for other reasnos there is no real guarantee at all that people will have the 2.0 framework upon purchasing your application (at least at the consumer level, corporate could be a whole different ball of wax).
Patrick Sullivan
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Considering that there is still no reasonable guarantee that .NET 1.1 will be on the client's machine either, then what is the problem?

By the way... the phrase "Ready for Prime Time" implies a topic about the quality of something, not the quantity. Many people (such as myself) will misinterpret your title to imply that you are going to rant about .NET 2.0 having tons of bugs or being of inferior quality.

This post sure smells like FUD to me.
Turtle Rustler
Thursday, February 16, 2006
I'm interested in what you intend doing for your GUI layer in the new application. How comfortable are you going with Windows Forms (which I assume you must be) with Vista and WPF arriving before the end of the year?
Thursday, February 16, 2006
One thing to watch is that .NET 2 has a dependency on Windows Installer 3.1 which to install you need 'take ownership of files' rights on your machine - we had a problem where a group policy removed this right even for local administrators adding some pain. As for home users they'd need to install the 22MB .NET 2 framework plus MSI 3.1 which is another few MBs. May or may not be an issue for you.
John C Send private email
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Thanks for the replies people. This brought up several issues I hadn't even thought about. Individual responses follow:

Patrick: My product is targeting the corporate world. I probably should have specified that in my original post. I hadn't heard it wouldn't be included with new PC's until Vista, though. Good info to have.

Turtle: Definitely didn't intend my OP as FUD of any kind, except the fear, uncertainty, and doubt I have about whether I should be developing for .NET 2.0. And I accidentally left this out of my original post, but I was also interested in any quality issues related to .NET 2.0, in addition to the distribution issue. Still, I probably could have picked a better title. However, I do feel that while there is no guarantee, there is a much greater chance for a user to have .NET 1.1 than 2.0, since it has been around so much longer.

Lurkio: I'm not really that concerned about WPF. I intend it to be a Windows Forms app all the way. It's designed for the Windows Server market, where nobody is really interested in WPF. However, I may just scrap this whole thing and write it as an MMC snap-in.

John: Thanks for the info. The download size is not really an issue, but things like that group policy issue are, since my product is designed for Windows Server systems. I will definitely have to look into that dependency issue.

Thanks again for the thoughtful responses, everybody.
Cade A. Fassett Send private email
Thursday, February 16, 2006
You can use MSBee to have Visual Studio 2005, build applications that target the 1.1 framework as well.  What new things are you going to leverage inside of 2.0 framework, that you aren't leveraging now?

We are deploying a .NET 2.0 solution, but we just require our customers to have the 2.0 framework on their machines.  It is in a business environment, so it is not hard to convince business if they want the new features of our application then you have to get the 2.0 framework. 
It is only like 22 Mb so it isn't incredibly huge.
Just Another Engineer Send private email
Thursday, February 16, 2006
It must be nice to sell software to people who don't require a trial first to "kick the tires".
Mr. Analogy {Shrinkwrap µISV} Send private email
Thursday, February 16, 2006
I haven't actually tried MSBEE, but my understanding is that it's just a build tool.

I don't think it addresses the issue that the VS2005 forms designer generates code (partial classes, different resx schema, etc) which is not compatible with 1.1

I'm not clear what MSBEE is aimed at, but I don't think it's winforms apps.

I'd be pleased to be corrected.
Will Dean Send private email
Thursday, February 16, 2006

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