I've done my own research on the subject, but I want to see what others think.

I have a web application (intranet) that is currently written in ASP.NET 2.0. We're needing to update the UI so that we have more freedoms with it. (We are currently in the 10th circle of Table Hell). We are going to change from table based layouts to semantic layouts using CSS. Are there any new features, or any other benefits from using ASP.NET4.0 as opposed to 2.0 when targeting XHTML standards compliance for cross browser support?

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The only major difference that I remember between the 2 as far as layout is concerned is instead of letting .Net create the IDs of elements you can specify your own scheme as well as adding less code. Your main issues going to a tableless layout isn't .Net, it's doing the CSS properly.

The reason behind the tableless layout is to reduce bandwidth usage for the application. Right now we have pages that are comming across as 4 and 5 MB downloads for single pages. I aim to reduce that to a max of a 1MB download. Having more fine tuned control over control rendering, and being able to specify ID's on controls is exactly how I planned on taking advantage of .NET 4 for my tableless upgrade.

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Another thing you can look at is reduce the ViewState (this can easily be 1-2MB) and using more PageMethods and ajax (Don't use UpdatePanels, they still send the entire request back and forth and can serious screw with other JavaScript on the page).

I think the Update Panels are part of our problem. We are currently running into huge problems in IE9, and our product is built for IE. We'd like to break away, and allow our users to use any browser they want, as long as they don't need key features that require IE (activeX controls, which we only have 1 of)

2.0 Vs 4.0 Which is more Applicable.....

Answering this question from inside our office.... We're converting to ASP.NET 4, but we're not changing the GUI just yet.

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