.NET is a free, cross-platform, open source developer platform for building many different types of applications.
With .NET, you can use multiple languages, editors, and libraries to build for web, mobile, desktop, gaming, and IoT.
You can write .NET apps in C#, F#, or Visual Basic.
Whether you're working in C#, F#, or Visual Basic, your code will run natively on any compatible OS. Different .NET implementations handle the heavy lifting for you:
.NET Standard is a base set of APIs that are common to all .NET implementations.
Each implementation can also expose additional APIs that are specific to the operating systems it runs on. For example, .NET Framework is a Windows-only .NET implementation that includes APIs for accessing the Windows Registry.
To extend functionality, Microsoft and others maintain a healthy package ecosystem built on .NET Standard.
NuGet is a package manager built specifically for .NET that contains over 90,000 packages.
You can build many types of apps with .NET. Some are cross-platform, and some target a specific OS or .NET implementation.
Because .NET is open source, you can join the 25,000 developers and 1,700 companies already contributing to the .NET platform.
The Visual Studio product family provides a great .NET development experience on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
The Visual Studio Marketplace has thousands of editor extensions from Microsoft and others.
If you prefer to use a different editor, there are .NET command line tools and plugins for many popular editors.