Wow @ some of these comments
RE: The article:
"It took Microsoft a further eight years to come up with the idea of a client profile"
They introduced this after 3.5 which added fatties such as WCF, WPF ontop the existing framework. .NET 2.00 is still a pretty small redist. IMO they didn't really need to use client profiles before this.
I've been using it since about 2002 and love it. The amount of thought that has gone into it is amazing and it is beautifully designed. In the 8 years I have been using it I have only encountered 1 bug which was a teeny UI issue on Vista.
In terms of productivity boosting it is excellent, I don't know about these other coders that seem to favour scouring .h files and reading potentially inaccurate documentation. I guess that might be fun but I'd rather just add an assembly and check out the metadata for the docs. Hell, I can even Reflector the assembly and read the actual code instead.
The number of tools, APIs and whatnot is comprehensive. .NET covers a lot of stuff and in most cases you can remain totally in the managed world. Sure it's technically bloat, but if that bloat ensures that my string is...... er.. well a string and I don't have to worry about memory allocations (0xC0000005 anyone? Ain't never seen that caused by .NET) then i'm happy to have that bloat.
To state (as one brave soul did) that you can't create a "proper" application in .NET is an utter, utter nonsense. I've created and worked on numerous apps of numerous size with .NET and any performance issues have been due to shit code, not .NET.
While I agree that there might be more "inept" developers in managed environments than unmanaged ones if you're _really_ competant you'll develop good code and you'll also be able to recognise that a managed environment is logical abstraction and progression to build ontop of a native stack.
I know its nice to talk computer (bits, bytes, pointers) but I prefer to talk in human terms (numbers, strings and references as an abstract concept instead of the absolute pointer). The two are also not mutally exclusive so my knowledge of the former is not lost by commonly using the latter.
.NET Compact Framework sucks tho. Well....mebbe that's too harsh but it's disappointingly sparse in comparison to FF 2.0.