No not really. It contains more calls/methods/namespaces but over all I think it is a set of functions provided to you by the OS/Framework. The .NET is managed and all that stuff but that dosn't change the way I interact with it. BTW I think it is just a matter of time before the API will be managed to. Why do you think .NET is more then a bucket of methods?
Actually it makes interaction with systems that lie underneath it much easier. Yes the API is managed through the .net framework, but it is significant that the framework compiles code to an imtermediate language. The code must meet a specification before it is recompiled Just In Time to machine code that is linked to the system API and it's implementation.
Maybe once the framework matures Microsoft will devise a way to restrict direct access to the system interface, but before that time developers will have to understand what .net is and why they should use it. Microsoft has a lot of developers digging under the hood using the system API, and it might take some coaxing for them to trade one interface for another. The fact of the matter is that Microsoft writes the systems in the first place and there is no way that they are going to let that go. It's like people want to fight over an old bone. They will do that until they figure out that value on this operating system is achieved in the presentation and in the domain that they are modeling. By supporting the domain, invention will be driven to satisfy requirements of high order logic. It is the responsibility of the Microsoft engineers to build the systems, and integrate them with the framework making them accessable at this high level cream of the crop where ideas are being generated into applicatons.
I finally got an nt os and installed .net...C# is pretty cool, I like it.
Yeah C# is a nice language. It is limited by not supporting templates or having the broad range of features of C++, however it is syntactically cleaner and has more safety build in. All framework applicatons are unicode I hear and the framework class library is great. I guess that my only dislike of the whole .net programming platform is the high cost. If you try to get at all serious with it than you are looking at having to get an MSDN subscription in order to leverage their servers with .net.
For the most part I think I'll stick with C++ and Linux but when using MS Windows it will most definately be .net.
Troll_King: Earlier you explained how C# is for building specific solutions, and C++ is for building 'systems', both of which could cover a wide range of applications. Anyway, is there any use for the WinApi and MFC for building 'Solutions' now that we have C#?
Also are you in college? Most people who are not-in-college do not use Linux (or so it seems). Is it going to be a complete culture shock for me when I have to move from Windows to Unix when I go to college?
You can build programs with the system interface (Win32) or wrapper classes that simulate an OOP domain to program with (MFC), but the .net framework is a much better OOP software domain. I think that Win32/Dos days are done, but at the moment they are still valid ways to program for the Microsoft OS. At some time Microsoft will probably stop documenting it's system interface (probably in future versions of windows). That will likely take a few years though.
If you choose Windows than definately use their systems, which is currently being emplyed through the .net framework. It takes a long time just to learn MS tools. Their applications have a 2 year cycle. Every 2 years you will have to relearn their tools or at least the new features. I believe that .net has a 3 year cycle, due to its complexity. The proper way to program for the MS OS is to learn how to use the tools that they provide you. That is how a company of that size survives. You will be able to create sophisticated aplications almost immediately. Do not study their system interface or use Dos, those are foolish practices. If you want to perform research than use a real research OS, it's called Linux, and it is open source.
If you are just begining, than this will help you a lot. You should try working with both, just make sure to understand the politics influencing the platforms, for it will make a difference as to how you approch them. Good Luck.