The look and feel of Studio .NET is nearly identical to previous versions of the IDE. Some notable exceptions include the cleaner interface and greater cohesiveness. It is also more customizable with status windows that automatically hide when not in use.
The most notable feature of the IDE is its support of the new .NET languages. Programs developed in these languages do not compile to machine language (like C++ does, for example) but instead compile into something called MSIL. When programs execute the MSIL application, it is jitted into the appropriate machine language for the platform it is being executed on. Via this method, Microsoft hopes to be able to support various implementations of their Windows operating systems (such as Windows CE). Programs compiled into MSIL can be executed only on Windows platforms which have the .NET framework.
Microsoft distributes various versions of this IDE. Some lack an optimizing compiler, others lack support for database instructions. These versions are generally less expensive than the full version of the IDE.