Final official version of .NET Framework 2.0 is available for download!

Hey, I'm happy to say that the .NET Framework 2.0 is finally finished, and the official RTM build (2.0.50727.42) is available for download on the Microsoft Download Center.  Check out this location for a full list of .NET Framework 2.0 products that are available.  Here are some of the most commonly requested downloads:

A couple of important notes here:

  1. The .NET Framework 2.0 SDK requires that you install the .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable first, so if you want the SDK make sure to download both

  2. The .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable is a language-neutral package.  Setup UI will appear in the language of the OS you are running setup on (more setup packaging details are here if you are interested).  The resources inside of the package are English only.  There will be language packs available soon that contain non-English product resources.

  3. The .NET Framework 2.0 SDK is English only.  Non-English languages will be available soon.


Comments (13)
  1. mobilemobile says:

    I don’t have a MSDN subscription, so I can’t get VS2005 yet. Is there any way for me to get doc on .NET Compact Framework 2.0? I’m looking for information like MSDN has on objects — for example, I’d like to be able to see the properties/methods/events for the datagrid in the new version. I downloaded/installed it, but I can’t seem to access any help for it. Thanks for your help.

  2. Stephane Rodriguez says:

    The dotnet fx 2.0 redist once installing apparently uses the bootstrapping to preinstall its prerequites. Unfortunately one of these is the Windows Installer 3.0 which, when clicked, leads to a WGA walled web page from the Microsoft download center.

    As a .NET 2.0 developer, there is no way I am deploying .NET 2.0 apps on client machines anytime soon with such obstacles. I am certainly not going to inflinge my users this.

    Those obstacles clearly make things harder to deploy, not simpler. I am sure the bootstrapper team could do nothing about that, but what matters is the overall user experience. I am not going to write lengthy documentation about going through all of this either.

    Better stick to older .NET 1.x run-time versions.

    Or better yet, forget about deploying .NET apps altogether.

    What’s your thoughts?

  3. Claus Brod says:

    And if you’re wondering why the final build was 2.0.50727.42, you probably don’t know where your blanket is, either.


  4. Hi mobilemobile – the online MSDN documentation will be updated with VS 2005 information in the near future. In the meantime, you can use the beta documentation to find information about the .NET Compact Framework 2.0 topics you’re looking for. You can get to the beta docs by going to and clicking on the Beta Docs link on the top of the page.

  5. Hi Stephane – the .NET Framework 2.0 redist package uses an external UI handler, which is somewhat different from a bootstrapper. It does not try to install any prerequisites, but instead it checks for the presence or absence of the prereqs and blocks if they are not found. I describe the INI file and the prereq checking for the .NET Framework 2.0 redist at

    The .NET Framework 2.0 redist does require a minimum of Windows Installer 3.0. For deployment scenarios where MSI 3.0 is not going to be present on client machines, this will require an additional deployment step. MSI 3.0 will be present on most machines because it is a part of the most recent service pack on Windows 2000, XP and 2003, but there are possible cases where it won’t be present.

    I’m planning to write up some steps for doing this type of deployment in a future blog post.

    I understand that this is an inconvenience, but I don’t think it is something that should discourage anyone from developing applications using .NET 2.0 (or .NET in general). If anyone reading this has any issues deploying .NET applications please don’t hesitate to contact me ( and I’ll try to help in whatever ways possible.

  6. Stephane Rodriguez says:

    "it is a part of the most recent service pack on Windows 2000, XP and 2003, but there are possible cases where it won’t be present. "

    Requiring potential customers to run under the latest service pack is not acceptable. Installing service packs is no small thing, requires admin privilege, is a big download, potentially a reboot. And a heck lot of machines are not upgrading to the latest service pack.

    I hope you guys have pretty good figures on that issue, because I believe this forced WGA thing is not acceptable on a single machine of any of potential customers.

    Alternatively, why isn’t there a redist including Windows Installer 3.0? That is not too big in size and yet may solve the issue in the first place.

    Ironically enough, I installed the redist on my dev box which I used in the past to install two betas of Visual Studio 2005. And yet I still did not use Windows Installer 3.0

    Needless to say, I found my way out by downloading Windows Installer 3.1 which is not WGAed yet. All I can say is that this WGA issue encourages adding Windows Installer 3.1 in someone’s setup. I am not sure it would be legal, but why should one bother at this point?

    I think a documented .ini file that would bypass the Windows Installer 3.0 requirement is more than welcome, actually.

  7. Gary Rashed says:

    So when is DotNet framework 2.0 SP1 coming out. I work at a rather conservative company and they hate the idea of rolling out to a new version of the framework before atleast 1 service pack is out there. They don’t want to run into any major 2.0 errors.

  8. Claude Lake says:

    I have built a web application in Visual Studio 2005 and have installed the 2.0 framework on the webserver. For some reason it keeps giving me this error from teh server, and the file is there and also, the extensions are there too. Do you have any idea why this happening? Below is teh error:

    HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.  Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly.

  9. Hi Claude – There are a lot of possible causes of this error.  I would suggest taking a look at the MSDN Forums ( for suggestions about how to narrow down the root cause of this type of error.

  10. If your looking for the redists, you can find *all* of them here . (Of course, they are in the SDK directory

  11. Where to get Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 Where to download the .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable

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