NOTE: All this info is for programmers/developers. If you just If you want .NET just to run stuff, just go get the 800k Web Installer for .NET 4 and you're all set. It'll do the rest. Now, that said...
Almost two years ago I blogged about how Microsoft was trying to make the size of the .NET Framework smaller and smaller. That day I made a site called http://www.smallestdotnet.com to help folks find the smallest download possible for their system.
I just noticed a post on the WPF Perf and .NET Client Profile blog that goes into a LOT of detail on how the .NET 4 Client Profile makes things smaller.
Before, the .NET 3.5 SP1 Client Profile was a good idea, but it wasn't really a first class citizen. It wonly worked on x86 and machines that didn't have .NET on them already. Some amount of time you'd end up having to get the full .NET install anyway. They say the focus on .NET 4 is on getting Client Applications to run as fast as possible with as few bits as possible.
Check this out from Jossef Goldberg's blog: "Unlike the NET 3.5 SP1 Client Profile, NET4 Client Profile is:"
So that's good to know. They are committed to this and this will be the .NET 4 that gets distributed via Windows Update later this year. The general idea is that they avoid installing things you don't need a client machine. That means they won't install ASP.NET on your Mom's computer just because she wants a game. Also, the .NET 4 Client profile is a proper subset of the .NET 4 "Full" Framework.
Here's the numbers:
32 bit Client Profile
And the chart. Seems like a return to simplicity. I'm glad they're listening. I remember harping on this, as I'm sure you did, Dear Reader, over the last few years.
On to the where...
One more time, know that this info is for developers. If you want .NET just to run stuff, just go get the 800k Web Installer and you're all set. It'll do the rest.
These downloads are for folks who might want to redistribute the .NET 4 Framework with their software, perhaps offline.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.