Hereís some data points on .net framework deployment. (and this is a few months old too)
Distribution and Deployment Data for .NET
∑ More than 120M copies of the .NET Framework have been downloaded and installed using either Microsoft downloads or Windows Update
∑ Every copy of Windows Server 2003 has the .NET Framework v1.1 installed on it.
∑ More than 85% of new consumer PCs sold in 2004 had the .NET Framework installed
∑ More than 58% of business PCs have the .NET Framework preinstalled or preloaded
∑ Every new H-P consumer imaging device (printer/scanner/camera) will install the .NET Framework if itís not already there Ė thatís 3M units per year
The argument that the framework isnít installed on pcs is getting pretty weak.
.net development platform is great for shareware. Some current examples
* Google Deskbar -- create .NET plugins for the Google Deskbar app
* Grouper -- share music with friends; there's even a case study
* FedEx/Kinko's "File, Print FedEx Kinko's" lets you print to a Kinko's from your PC over the Internet
* Sandlot's Super Slyder -- addictive little game (requires managed DirectX)
* NASA's World Wind.
* RSS Bandit Ė a must download.