With the latest version of Visual Studio just days away and a plethora of .NET books in the stores I've been wondering what I'm going to do. I've been a VB programmer since version 3 and am currently using VB 6. I haven't really embraced the new technologies like COM and such because I haven't needed to and I've been too busy to try and learn it. I've been looking through some .NET information at the bookstore and the Microsoft site. It is a bit confusing as to what .NET is. From what I can tell it is a platform to develop applications on much like Windows was a platform in earlier versions. Also, many languages can be used to develop for .NET (VB, C++, C#, ASP, etc.). Any VB apps I have built have been standalone programs that do not even interact with the internet. Lately I have been developing a lot of interactive websites on an OS X server using PHP and MySQL. I have been able to do quite a lot with PHP/MySQL. I think of a web based application as web page(s) with forms that connect to a database. Is this what VB.NET will do? These are the things I'm wondering: What would VB.NET offer me over PHP/MySQL? Can VB.NET still be used for standalone apps? Do VB.NET apps run through a browser? Any insights? Any takers? Is .NET the future or a bunch of hype?