A comment on my last post got me thinking about the issues around redisting the framework. I have known for a long time that some of our customers have trouble with the size of .NET Framework redist package. We have talked about a huge number of ways to address it, but one that keeps coming up is the AOL model of carpet bombing CDs that include the .NET Framework redist. That way apps could just “assume” it is there. I must admit I have even advocated it myself in the past… but just today someone from marketing made it very clear to me why this alone will not work. People don’t take those CDs because AOL has great software; they do it for the free minutes. The free minutes are what drives the average end user to install the AOL… the CDs just lower the barrier.
So, what do you think are the “free minutes” for the .NET Framework? Some cool end user app? What would it do? Maybe free songs from MSN? Other ideas? What would get your mom to install the .NET Framework?