Appendix C. Version summaries
The version numbers in .NET can be confusing sometimes. The framework, runtime, Visual Studio, and C# are all numbered separately. This appendix is a quick guide to how they fit together and the major features in each release. In each case I’ve described the features from releases 2.0 and upward; listing all the features of .NET 1.0 and 1.1 would be fairly pointless.
C.1. Desktop framework major releases
When developers refer to releases of .NET, they usually mean the major releases of the desktop framework. In most cases, a framework release has been accompanied by a release of Visual Studio (or Visual Studio .NET, as it was named for the 2002 and 2003 releases). The exception to this was .NET 3.0, which was ...