Introduction

It was October 1999 when some people at Microsoft first demonstrated the Microsoft .NET Framework, the common language runtime (CLR), and the C# programming language to me. The moment I saw all of this, I was impressed and I knew that it was going to change the way I wrote software in a very significant way. I was asked to do some consulting for the team and immediately agreed. At first, I thought that the .NET Framework was an abstraction layer over the Win32 API and COM. As I invested more and more of my time into it, however, I realized that it was much bigger. In a way, it is its own operating system. It has its own memory manager, its own security system, its own file loader, its own error handling mechanism, its own application ...

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