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Pro C# 2010 and the .NET 4 Platform, Fifth Edition by Andrew Troelsen

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1.13. The Platform-Independent Nature of .NET

To close this chapter, allow me to briefly comment on the platform-independent nature of the .NET platform. To the surprise of most developers, .NET assemblies can be developed and executed on non-Microsoft operating systems—Mac OS X, various Linux distributions, Solaris, as well as the Apple iPhone device (via the MonoTouch API). To understand how this is possible, you need to come to terms with yet another abbreviation in the .NET universe: CLI (Common Language Infrastructure).

When Microsoft released the C# programming language and the .NET platform, they also crafted a set of formal documents that described the syntax and semantics of the C# and CIL languages, the .NET assembly format, core .NET ...

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