Yesterday, Microsoft released the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) build of the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 which brings the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) into the hands of .NET developers currently using the .NET Framework 2.0.
Unlike previous releases of the .NET Framework, the latest release does not bring along new versions of the Common Language Runtime (CLR) or even the core assemblies that constitute the Base Class Library (BCL). In essence the .NET Framework 3.0 represents some additional assemblies which contain types designed to provide enhanced communications, presentation, and workflow.
Although this may not make your job any easier convincing your IT department to let you install it onto production servers, the risk in adopting this version of the .NET Framework over previous releases is substantially reduced as your applications will continue to run within the version 2.0 CLR.
Another technology included with the .NET Framework 3.0 is Windows CardSpace, which is designed to help users store the various digital identities we all use daily. With our credit cards and various membership cards, Windows CardSpace provides a unified store for all digital identities.
You can download the .NET Framework 3.0 here.
Along with Friday's release to manufacturing of the Microsoft Office 2007 System, we should be seeing the release to manufacturing of Windows Vista any day now.