ASP.NET AJAX is a free framework for building a new generation of richer, more interactive, highly personalized cross-browser web applications. This new web development technology from Microsoft integrates cross-browser client script libraries with the ASP.NET 2.0 server-based development framework.
In addition, ASP.NET AJAX offers you the same type of development platform for client-based web pages that ASP.NET offers for server-based pages. And because ASP.NET AJAX is an extension of ASP.NET, it is fully integrated with server-based services. ASP.NET AJAX makes it possible to easily take advantage of AJAX techniques on the web and enables you to create ASP.NET pages with a rich, responsive UI and server communication. However, AJAX isn’t just for ASP.NET. You can take advantage of the rich client framework to easily build client-centric web applications that integrate with any backend data provider and run on most modern browsers.