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Essential .NET, Volume 1: The Common Language Runtime by Chris Sells, Don Box

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What Happened?

In 1998, Microsoft held a Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) in San Diego. COM luminary Charlie Kindel stood up in a general session and proclaimed “no more GUIDs—no more HRESULTs—no more IUnknown.” He and Mary Kirtland proceeded to show the basic architecture of the CLR, then known as the COM+ Runtime. Later in the session, Nat Brown and David Stutz stood up and demonstrated cross-language inheritance using Visual Basic and Java. Attendees actually went home with CDs containing primitive versions of compilers that could reproduce this very odd demonstration. It is now February 2002, and this technology has finally shipped in release form.

There are two days that will forever demarcate the evolution of the Microsoft platform. ...

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