For the purposes of this book, .NET refers to Microsoft's vision for unified services based on their new server OS family and development software line. Included in this is the .NET Mobile server, which uses C# and ASP.NET programming to provide PCS devices with WML-formatted content. These programming languages, in combination with .NET Mobile Forms, keep the programming on the server side of the communication. This eliminates the need for WMLScripting, which takes up bandwidth and can be more complicated to program.
For legal reasons, Microsoft cannot distribute Java as its own product. As a result, they have created a programming language very similar to Java called C#. As mentioned before, Java is an essential programming language of the Internet, which means C# can supplant it for Internet-based applications.
ASP.NET is a new edition of ASP (Active Server Pages). It is built around Microsoft's implementation of XML, and is incorporated into every facet of its software. ASP, which is similar to VBScript and Visual Basic, is one of the most commonly used languages in business. Almost every Microsoft product comes with support for one of the members of this small family of languages.
In addition to these two languages, you can also use C++ or VB to provide functionality to a Web application. Because of this, developers can incorporate the best features of each language into a project. For example, C++ .dll files can provide fast processing for requested data; VB.NET can provide a user back end for an online supply warehouse; and ASP.NET/C# can provide middleware to enable an end user to interact with the data provided by the .dll. Finally, all of this results in a WML page for the mobile end user.