Does Microsoft not believe in their own hype?

I was reading a post over on Joel On Software about using .NET being a viable development environment for downloadable software.  I won’t repeat the thread here but the general idea is with the ability to link in the necessary parts of the .NET Runtime, the download is bloated and too big to ask a customer to download.

Visual Basic 6.0 and Borland Delphi provide a linker and create stand-alone applications.  Yes, VB6 does require a run-time BUT it is included in most Microsoft operating systems today.

So why didn’t Microsoft distribute the .NET Runtime when they had a chance?  Wasn’t it the perfect time to do so with Windows XP SP2?  It makes me wonder how committed Microsoft is to managed code if this opportunity was passed up.  Is Microsoft just leaving it up to network administrators to install the runtime?

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