Programming languages are a fascinating topic. There appears to be wide agreement on what fundamental features a modern programming language should have and how it should behave. These features and behaviors are essentially what the CLR provides. There is little agreement on how a modern programming language should look, however, with everyone voting for his or her preferred syntax. By providing a common implementation of the core and then allowing diverse expressions of that core, the .NET Framework brings a new approach to language design. Even without Microsoft's backing, this would be an attractive model for creating a development environment. With the backing of the world's largest software company, it's bound to affect the lives of many, many developers.