I think the .NET Framework is great. It is great for web and fat client apps, web services, etc. I think the mistake Microsoft made with it, is it isn’t required with the OS. Too many people don’t have it. It isn’t feasible to develop a fat client app with .NET and expect widespread installations. People that don’t have the framework will be put of by the whopping ~23MB size of the install. I think it is just goofy that Microsoft tries to push .NET down our throats (as developers) – everything is .NET this, .NET that – and it is good, it can do a lot. Thing is – if you want to get an application to the masses, you still have to fall back on C/C++ as it will 99.9% run natively.
Instead of making the .NET framework a optional update on Windows Update, I think that if it was a required update, it would make things a lot better in terms of developers wanting to target a larger audience. Microsoft says that Vista will have .NET Framework 2.0 – but it is too late. Too many people have XP (9X even!) that they will probably never switch to Vista.
I think managed code is good. I don’t think I should have to develop in unmanaged code because it is too much of a PITA to get the framework to end user machines.