The .NET Framework System.Net namespace gives you programmatic access to a number of key networking protocols, such as HTTP and SMTP.
In the September issue of MSDN Magazine, we'll look at some new and enhanced networking features that are planned for the upcoming release of the .NET Framework 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008, including high-performance Socket APIs, International Resource Identifier support for URIs, and a peer-to-peer (P2P) namespace.
The features described in this article are available in the Beta 1 release of Visual Studio 2008, so you can start playing with them today.
To learn more about networking technologies at Microsoft, swing by the Windows Core Networking team blog.
For more coverage of Visual Studio, see the MSDN Magazine archives and our Team System column.