Actually the download is only about 25 mb. Also, .Net has nothing to do with Java (although calling it s response to Java is probably pretty acurate). In fact, M$ does not even support it's own JVM anymore.
The Readers Digest version of how it works is this: All code written using .Net technologies (VB.Net, C#.Net, etc...) are all compiled down to the same IL (intermediate language), which is then compiled to machine code.
What this means to the end user is that now code written in VB (.Net of course, not VB6) is just as fast as any other .Net language. Up until now this was not the case, and something written in C or C++ would run much faster than something written in VB6 because compiled C or C++ was the closest thing to true machine code.
Sorry if this is too much for this board, but installing the .Net Framework should not force anyone not to install something. Does anybody remember having to install the VB Runtime Library to make applications work (years ago now)? You should think of the .Net Framework just like that.
edit: Also, there is nothing that you can do in c# that you can not do with VB.Net. Again, before .Net VB was usefull, but somewhat limited.
edit: Too many spelling and grammer errors to fix, screw it!
This comment was edited on Sep 2, 15:05.