First of all, I want to thank the dozens of people (well-wishers) who sent me super encouraging mails welcoming me to the blogging world.  I should confess that I was reasonably nervous about my first blog posting, but all the words of encouragement did wonders for me.  Thank you for that.

Recently, I did a couple of customer and partner visits (one in the Chicago area, one in San Francisco and one in Europe) and one of the questions that I got asked a lot was around .NET momentum.  I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some facts around this (I definitely don't want my blogs to become a PR channel, but since I get asked this question a lot I feel it is ok for me to share this with you all).

We have seen over 70 million downloads of the .NET framework from Windows Update and the Microsoft Download center to date.  For a simple guy like me, that translates to about 5.5 million downloads a month.  Another interesting datapoint is that in 2004, we expect to have about 54 million new PCs shipping with the .NET framework installed/preloaded.  We also have over 2.5M developers targeting managed code.  So, looking at all these data points I feel quite good about the adoption and momentum of .NET.  Being the unbiased guy that I am, I am confident that VS2005 is going to make this even better. 

On a related note, I am sure that some of you have heard about the .NET framework bootstrapper that we put out on recently.  This is designed to make it very easy for developers who are writing .NET applications to package up the .NET framework along with their application in a easy way for deployment.