1. _Reducing the learning curve for those new to the .NET world, by providing better help, more powerful wizards and tools and supporting the complete software development lifecycle._ > 2. _Making it easier for existing applications (particularly those written in ASP and Visual Basic "Classic") to be migrated across to the .NET world._ > 3. _Providing tools and guidance to IT Professionals to help them deploy and manage the .NET Framework and associated applications._ >
From my experience in 2003, the third one is the most important. There is already momentum behind teaching people about .NET (it started way before it was even fully released) and there is already effort in the migration area. What I found most, though, was that while developers are starting to come to terms with the new world of .NET, support staff and IT managers are still pretty much in the dark. Where IT departments might have developed pretty clear strategies for deploying and maintaining applications written in, say, ASP, when it comes to ASP.NET they are faced with new challenges that they are unprepared for. For example, how many people know the ins and outs of the files and folders that are written when an ASP.NET application is running. Have you seen the impact an incorrectly configured virus scan can have when all the temporary ASP.NET assemblies are continually scanned?
So I say a significant focus through 2004 should be pointed towards building documentation about best practices for the deployment and management of .NET (and in particular) ASP.NET applications for busy IT departments.