Visual Studio .NET is Visual Studio but with support for Microsft .NET architectures. It comes with regular Visual C++ and also what microsoft calls "Managed C++" which is basically non-cross-platform, non-cross-compiler "extensions" to c++ that allow for things like garbage collection. The IDE and C++ language support are much improved in Visual Studio .NET vs. Visual Studio 6.0 and below (i.e. better support for partial template specialization).