I'll just ignore Manip's comments, for once, as they're completely off-topic.

A few things. First, the Framework is (last I saw), on a solid 40% of installable PC's. Not bad for an "undistributed" download.

Second, there is a size tradeoff. .NET apps are much, much smaller than standard Win32 apps. Your 5-10MB app that you had in C++ will often be 500-1500KB. Not a hugely smaller download, but definitely noticeable.

Next, most users won't care about "what is .NET" if the installers make it a seamless requirement, and basically say "this is a base component required for this program. You will only need to download this once". One only has to look at things like EXEtender to know that people don't mind download extensions.

It's when you get all technical that it's an issue.

All of that said, I completely agree that it's difficult for many shareware companies to justify a full move to .NET. However, a lot of companies and software products are (more and more) .NET-based or .NET-enabled (as individual sections of apps are rewritten in .NET, instead of rewriting the whole app needlessly).

That said, without apps, there will be no deployment. Without deployment there will be no apps. So it's a good thing that products like NewsGator and SharpReader, and several cool games, require the framework.

To put it differently. There are more .NET-enabled computers than there are Linux and Mac destops combined.