On Friday, S. "Soma" Somasegar posted an entry in his blog entitled .NET Framework 3.0 where he wrote

When speaking to developers about WinFX one question that repeatedly comes up is, “WinFX sounds great, but what happens to .NET?” .NET Framework has becomes the most successful developer platform in the world.  Developers know and love .NET.

The .NET Framework has always been at the core of WinFX, but the WinFX brand didn’t convey this.  The WinFX brand helped us introduce the incredible innovations in terms of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and the newly christened Windows CardSpace (WCS) formerly known under the codename “InfoCard.”  The brand also created an unnatural discontinuity between previous versions of our framework and the current version.

With this in mind we have decided to rename WinFX to the .NET Framework 3.0.  .NET Framework 3.0 aptly identifies the technology for exactly what it is – the next version of our developer framework.
The .NET Framework 3.0 will still ship with Windows Vista, and will be available down-level for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as planned.  This change doesn’t affect in any way the ship schedules of either Windows Vista or the .NET Framework 3.0 itself.

The good news to me isn't that Microsoft is fixing the branding confusion around having both WinFX and the .NET Framework. It is cool but what is more interesting is that developers can count on having Avalon (WPF) and Indigo (WCF) on every Windows Vista computer. As someone who's written an application based on the .NET Framework, it totally sucks that I still can't assume that every modern PC running the most up-to-date version of the operating system has the .NET Framework installed. It's finally gotten to the point where .NET Framework v1.1 has mass market penetration but we are on .NET Framework v2.0 and right now [based on my server logs] it looks like for every 1 person who is using v2.0 of the .NET Framework to access my site, there are 10 people on v1.1 of the .NET Framework. It's going to take at least a few more years for that ratio to get any better.

I've been wondering whether there is any point looking at Avalon given that it at this rate it could be four or five years before it has enough mass market penetration to be worth targetting exclusively. With the .NET Framework 3.0 shipping with every Windows Vista PC, the adoption rate should be a lot more rapid than what we've seen for previous versions of the .NET Framework. So now the next question for me is whether LINQ (aka C# 3.0) is expected to ship as part of the .NET Framework 3.0? If so, this would be the most interesting development for Windows developers I've heard all year.

This is probably old news to a bunch of folks but it is news to me.