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New Probably not a good answer...but...
...unmanaged code is capable of accessing any system resource with no type constraints (i.e. you can cast any kind to and kind). Managed code just means you are playing in the sandbox, similar to the JVM. Best correlary in the Java world is JNI, but in the case of .net you can basically write native code that still runs within the .net virtual machine. Certain ILM instructions are only available in unmanaged states (i.e. buffer overrun this machine).
New That's a pretty good answer
IOW, in "managed code" its not possible to do things like manipulate arbitrary memory in the machine - a behavior relied upon by things like some viruses and worms. C# has no pointer construct and so you are playing in "the sandbox" as Chris said. You can't hurt anything from there and your code is subject to user defined security policies.

Unmanaged code is like C/C++. You can do anything to any byte in the machine. No safety rails, no sandbox, no second chances.

"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"   --Mark Twain

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."   --Albert Einstein

"This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mental losses."   --George W. Bush
New Any byte in the machine, or...
...any byte in your process's address space? (I assume that my process cannot touch your process's stuff...)
shrub\ufffdbish (Am., from shrub + rubbish, after the derisive name for America's 43 president; 2003) n. 1. a form of nonsensical political doubletalk wherein the speaker attempts to defend the indefensible by lying, obfuscation, or otherwise misstating the facts; GIBBERISH. 2. any of a collection of utterances from America's putative 43rd president. cf. BULLSHIT

New As much protection as the Operating System provides...
...which for Windows is to say None At All. Unmanaged code is the umbrella of native code that's not managed within the sandbox. All those VBX or COM or COM+ or DCOM things can be invoked within the unmanaged state.
     Need a comparison, C#.NET vs Java - (drewk) - (27)
         IBM's JVM has better GC control. - (Another Scott) - (1)
             What about platform independence? - (drewk)
         Warning. C# and .NET are actually quite nice. - (pwhysall) - (1)
             Actually, I think dot net is so '90s - (tonytib)
         Corrections - (ben_tilly)
         Haven't studied memory managmenent, don't want to - (warmachine)
         Key differences: One of them sucks - (tuberculosis) - (17)
             Is "unmanaged" what he means when he says "unsafe function"? - (drewk) - (11)
                 Send him here - (ben_tilly) - (9)
                     Seconded. - (static) - (8)
                         Thirded - (Ashton)
                         Your honeymoon's showing. - (pwhysall) - (6)
                             :-) -NT - (Another Scott)
                             I read a statistic once ... - (drewk)
                             That wasn't a deliberate misunderstanding, was it? - (static) - (3)
                                 </jokeson> -NT - (pwhysall) - (1)
                                     Yes, I know. :-) -NT - (static)
                                 How could it be anything else?!? Paranoia much, eh...? :-) -NT - (CRConrad)
                 Yes - (tuberculosis)
             OT-OK Todd (and any body else who has a good answer)... - (jb4) - (4)
                 Probably not a good answer...but... - (ChrisR) - (3)
                     That's a pretty good answer - (tuberculosis) - (2)
                         Any byte in the machine, or... - (jb4) - (1)
                             As much protection as the Operating System provides... - (ChrisR)
         Re: Need a comparison, C#.NET vs Java - (dshellman)
         As long as you want to manage the low level details.... - (ChrisR) - (1)
             :-) -NT - (Another Scott)

How much more correcter could this phrase get? None more correcter.
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