You may recall that Windows Server 2003 was initially slated to be called Windows .Net Server. It was rechristened as the first move in a major renaming orgy to remove the very confusing .Net moniker from just about every place it showed up in Microsoft products. Which was just about everywhere.The .Net "framework" remains, at least for now, as a blanket reference to the equally ambiguous "Web services" offerings that Microsoft is bringing out. Nevertheless, Windows Server 2003 will be the first version of a Windows server outfitted from the get-go with all the trappings of 21st century Web "stuff."What are included in Windows Server 2003 are the trappings and underpinnings of the .Net initiative, which itself is aimed more at developers than at users.Microsoft wants independent software vendors (ISV) to use its products and servers when developing Web-based applications and services. To facilitate this, certain tools and libraries need to be present in the Windows environment to make distribution of the ISVs' products more efficient, as well as to prevent conflicts among the products of different ISVs. This is simply an extension of the process that began back in the days of Windows 3, when the Dynamic Link Library (DLL) file was first developed as a run-time repository of library routines.The Microsoft .Net framework, along with Microsoft Message Queuing, COM+, and other Application Server options, gives developers an integrated toolbox with which to work, and spares them having to code mundane features (such as sorts, lookups, formatting, etc.,) so they can spend time on the real work of their applications.This really is good stuff and you will be able to choose more interesting applications from third parties because the .Net "stuff" is present on your server. It can even make it easier for you or your stuff to create "quick and dirty" applications to do routine tasks (check for disk space usage, notify certain people when an event occurs, auto-publish the cafeteria menu, etc.,) that, nevertheless, enhance the network environment for many users.While this may seem like the ugly plumbing part of Windows Server 2003, it can be the underpinning of the most dazzling features that will show up on your network. Browsing to https:\/\/www.microsoft.com\/windowsserver2003\/techinfo\/serverroles\/appserver\/default.mspx will link you (eventually) to 25 to 30 different white papers, each a technology report on different aspects of the .Net framework included with Windows Server 2003.For most of you, only the top-level overview documents will be needed, but - if you have the time - dig through all of them and see what's possible. You just might develop that brilliant idea that brings you to the attention of the CEO and helps you on the ladder of success. Stranger things have happened.