Or, more accurately C♯
Microsoft panicing about how Java was doing so well, took the idea of a VirtualMachine (like the Java VM) and created their own one called ".NET". Then, as an "innovation" they allowed multiple languages to target this VirtualMachine, but the main language is "C♯" (pronounced C Sharp). It's been said that all the languages that have been ported to .NET just end up being "skins" on top of C♯.
The idea of using a VirtualMachine isn't a new one, the oldest case I'm aware of is perhaps SmallTalk or even Pascal's "p-code". The reason it's so "hip" and "trendy" at the moment is that you can easily sandbox a VirtualMachine1?2? and thus provide security. It also provides "Compile once and run anywhere", which as almost everyone knows is "Compile once and hope like hell".
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