Sorry, I should have replied right away, but wasn't quite on the ball the last couple of days. Bubby, thanks a lot for that article. That was the answer to the question I was asking. I actually went to the link and read the whole article. Believe it or not, I understood it. In fact, I found it fascinating. And I found a couple of resources myself.
The first makes the case in 5 paragraphs. The second addresses what .net means to Mac and, a little, to Linux users. However, it's simple explanation of the new .net architecture in Windows versus the problems of the current system is even better than the one Bubby posted, though both are excellent. I would have done my own reseach from the get-go, but I had so much respect for the posters here, I figured I'd get a quick, high quality answer. And I pretty much did. In fact, I think I can summarize it in even less than 5 paragraphs.
It's clear to me now that .net is the wave of the future. What it means to GOTD users is this:
.net will allow developers to make faster and more stable apps., that are not dependent on what hardware you buy. And .net will likely eventually replace the current Win32 architecture as the core of what ships with your new computer. .net appears to be a product from "good" Microsoft.
There! That was pretty succint, wasn't it?
I think we can probably wind this thread down, then. That was pretty much what people needed to hear to make a decision.
One but, though. I think some of the sophisticated, well intentioned posters here are people who download a lot of software because software acquisition and testing fits their needs and lifestyle. That's an important factor in making them as sophisticated as they are. But, many of us, maybe the majority, aren't looking to acquire a lot of software. We're looking for only the proven tools. The one's were the bugs are mostly worked out. We don't want to test nearly as much as we want strong solutions. I feel that, with the exception of VERY specialized tasks, that if I need a lot of tools to accomplish something, then I have a lot of inadequate tools. Ashraf says that so much software uses it, and I'm sure at his level that's true. But, that hasn't trickled down to a lot of us.
So I think that the .net advocates here, though obviously successfully making their case, are preaching to the wrong choir. The two detailed articles that Bubby and I sited are 4 and 6 years old and .net is in it's fourth release. Yet, it still hasn't become the dominant programming tool. As one of the posters who replied to the original article Bubby sited pointed out, developers don't want to abandon all the proven program code they've already written. Even if it appears they won't have to, just do some moderate revisions to it. It's going to be easier to convince users to get it when the leading apps. are going to be using it almost exclusively.
Until then, a lot of us are going to decide that if 2 softwares are pretty equal, and one DOESN'T require downloading a large framework update on our computers, that's the one we're going to go for. It would probably be a lot farther along if they could solve the backward compatibility issue. Even though that's been a problem with both the old and new architectures, after all, we put 2 men on the moon in 1969. You'd think somebody would eventually figure it out! Also, though it's true that the .net apps. should be considerably better, not all .net developers have achieved that level of quality, yet. I think the better answer would be "if you need it, get it" unless you can find an alternative that can fit your needs better. Right now, I think that's true a lot of the time. Especially in the case of GOTD giveaways, which often don't even match the quality on non .net dependent freeware.