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How To Choose: .NET Framework vs .NET Framework Client Profile

What is .Net Framework Client Profile? What are the differences between the .Net Framework and .Net Framework Client Profile? Which one you have installed on Windows 7?

If you open IE8 on Windows 7, open a new tab and enter this JavaScript javascript:alert(navigator.userAgent) on the Address bar, you will get the .Net Framework version installed on Windows:

Simple trick used to check .Net Framework version installed on Windows 7.

With reference to the screenshot (above), I have .Net Framework 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 Extended (.NET4.0E or full version), and 4.0 Client Profile (.NET4.0C).

So, what is that .Net Framework Client Profile? Should you install .Net Framework 4 or .Net Framework 4 Client Profile?

Well, to understand the background information or history of .Net Framework Client Profile, take some times to read Client profile explained.

For the latest release, .Net Framework 4 Client Profile is a streamlined subset and compact version of the .NET Framework 4 full version but yet contains the functionality that most common desktop client applications would need.

Obviously, the Client Profile installer has smaller footprint and thus is relatively easier for distribution and installation.
After install .Net Framework 4.0 full version, you’ll see two entries (Client Profile and Extended) in “Program and Features” window (Windows Vista / Windows 7):

.Net Framework 4.0 full made up of Client Profile and Extended packs.

If you would like to know what are the differences exactly between .Net Framework 4 Full version and .Net Framework 4 Client Profile, check it out at Introduction of .NET Framework 4 Client Profile, particularly the “What’s in and what’s not included in the Client Profile” section.

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