What is .NET?
The official word from Microsoft is that
.NET is the Microsoft Web services strategy to connect information, people, systems, and devices through software. Integrated across the Microsoft platform, .NET technology provides the ability to quickly build, deploy, manage, and use connected, security-enhanced solutions with Web services. .NET-connected solutions enable businesses to integrate their systems more rapidly and in a more agile manner and help them realize the promise of information anytime, anywhere, on any device.
But in simpler terms it is a Framework for building software solutions. Not just web services, though that is one of it's "sexy" features. It is a platform, much like your computer is, except this platform is software and not hardware, though it provides access to the hardware. Like a hardware platform you have a bunch of devices that can be used to build a computer system.
In .NET you have a bunch of objects, that are smaller pieces of software, that can be used to build a software system. By writing code you can make these objects (smaller pieces of software) interact with each other and solve problems. Thus producing a software system, also refered to as a solution, that runs on the platform, this platform being .NET.
There is alot more to the subject but you can go to the Microsoft framework website and read more about it on your own.
So lets get you started with a few links and items that you will need to run the samples and other materials that I will include during this series.
First I assume that you have a computer that is running some form of Microsoft Windows XP or greater.
Second go and download the .NET Framwork SDK ( Software Developers Kit).
Run the installation and look at the samples, and then come back here for the second part of the series.