"Microsoft is developing the next generation of the Windows and
Visual Studio technologies. Both are designated with a .NET, as in
Windows .NET and Visual Studio.NET. Visual Studio.NET takes a
different approach to programming than with the past compilers and
programming techniques. It will NOT compile x86 code (with
exclusion of Visual C, unmanaged, which I will explain later);
instead, it will compile to a specific "assembly language,"
designated Microsoft Interpreted Language (MSIL). MSIL will run
through what is known as the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and
execute through a just-in-time (JIT) compiler. And, of course, a
CLR will be created for Windows 9x and NT/2000 machines."
"All of the programming environments in Visual Studio.NET will
compile to the new MSIL... Each CLR will probably be optimized for
both the operating system and processor it is running on, meaning
the fastest speeds possible. By now you probably have guessed it --
without compiling x86 code anymore, and instead to this new MSIL,
it means programs running with Windows on an IA-64 machine will run
also on an x86 machine."
"Of course, it doesn't stop there. The CLR not only can jump
processors running Windows, but also jump processors and operating
systems in general. What this means is someone creates a CLR for
MacOS (or for Xfree86/Linux, BEOS or any other GUI-based operating
system), and the programs written under the CLR in Windows will run
in those environments as well."
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