In case you’ve missed all the noise about this, Microsoft is rebranding WinFX as .NET 3.0. More accurately, .NET 3.0 is .NET 2.0 plus WinFX, which includes WPF, WCF, WF (Workflow), and WCS (CardSpace, formerly InfoCard). Overall I think this is a great idea. There is bound to be some confusion given that .NET Framework 3.0 includes the same compilers and runtime from .NET Framework 2.0. But hopefully it will clear up the confusion that was building about the relationship between .NET 2.0 and WinFX.
The announcement came a few days ago (just before TechEd) from the corporate VP of the Developer Division of Microsoft: http://blogs.msdn.com/somasegar/archive/2006/06/09/624300.aspx.
At first glance I didn’t think it was a great idea but I warmed to it quickly. Rumblings I’ve seen have been that this is not a big enough change to warrant a full version number jump but that’s nonsense. WinFX encompasses a lot of new stuff in the form of managed APIs. .NET Framework 3.0 is really just the branded name of the distribution for marketing anyway – nothing changes technically.
Of course there will still be things to complain about. For example, if you ask me to build an ASP.NET 2.0 application, we have to then talk about whether we are targeting .NET 2.0 or .NET 3.0 so I know if I can use Indigo and Workflow.
Ultimately what is great about this change is that it positions the .NET Framework as the replacement brand for Win32 rather than WinFX. We all love .NET but WinFX is new and strange.
Some more info on naming versus versioning of .NET: http://blogs.msdn.com/jasonz/archive/2006/06/13/630066.aspx.