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.net market saturation

As part of a larger project, we are considering developing and deploying a single C# application. The problem is: There seems to be an information black hole with respect to the percentage of PCs that have particular versions of .NET deployed.

So, just in case anyone happens to know,

What percentage of PCs have .NET v2

Have any .NET versions been required updates for XP? do Windows programmers in general deal with less-than-100 percent market saturation here?

Thursday, December 11, 2008
The only ones who really know work at Microsoft and they're not talking.

Interesting how they're beating their chests about how many machines have Silverlight installed yet they've never said a word on .Net.
old as dirt
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Do you have a website up already?

If you can, add some code to your site to capture the UserAgent string from your visitors.  If they have .NET installed, it'll tell you what version(s) they have.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
This thread is fairly recent 

To answer your first question: I would take any stats quoted with a big lump of salt.  In the thread listed above, the 80% penetration for .NET 1.x seems too high to me, unless everyone's bundled printer and digital photo applications require it. 50% for .NET 2.0 is even more pie in the sky. Non-technical users in both the workplace and at home aren't going to download a .NET framework just for giggles, and web browsers, email clients and iTunes don't require it. You can install Microsoft Office without installing a .NET framework.  Besides, there is no way to produce verifiable stats for .NET penetration, because the total PC market is too huge, and most users wouldn't know if they had a .NET framework installed or not.  The flip side of that is that once a framework is installed, the average user isn't likely to uninstall it, either.

Question 2:  No, but once a framework is installed, Windows Update updates the frameworks as well. Enterprise environments that use something other than Windows Update to push security updates may or may not update the frameworks, and if they do, it will be at a much slower pace.  Vista installs a .NET framework automatically, but forget the sales stats for Vista being loaded on new machines, because new machines are only a small part of the total population of PCs.  Like I said above, if you are targeting non-technical users (which includes almost every worker in non-IT corporations), you can't count on a high penetration for .NET frameworks.

Question 3: Make having the appropriate framework installed a requirement of your application, and make it as painless as possible.  I'll leave it up to others here to tout their favorite installer and method of pushing the redistributable packages onto desktops.
RGlasel Send private email
Thursday, December 11, 2008
If .net market saturation is poor, MS won't tell you.

If .net saturation is good, MS will tell you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008
This question comes up all the time and especially in the business of software forum.

The market saturation can also be pretty meaningless depending on what type of app (consumer vs. b2b) you are writing.

And consider that since Vista and all later OS's from MS come with a version of .NET installed (3.0 on vista by default) the market penetration will only keep going up.

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Anyone who does Windows Update now and then probably has at least .NET 2 by now.  Also, its a very simple thing to bundle the runtime installer with your application's installer, so I've not found it to be a real issue.
Chad Maine Send private email
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Most Windows end users are not adverse to downloading the .NET framework. Is it a bit of an obstacle? Sure. But it's "Microsoft .NET" and they can get it right in Windows Update -- they're pretty comfortable with that.

If you're worried about penetration, use an installation utility that allows you to walk them through help docs to cover any prereqs.

Also, if you deploy using ClickOnce, you can select prerequisites to download alongside the app itself, including, but not limited to, frameworks, service packs and data files.
Andrew Badera Send private email
Friday, December 12, 2008

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