The future of .NET Core

Information .NET Core

.NET Core is dead, long live .NET

Microsoft .NET Core is dead, at last when it comes to naming conventions. The last ".NET Core" release will be version 3.1, sheduled for November 2019. Keep in mind that .NET Core 3.1 will be considered LTS (long time support).

After the 3.1 release we will not see another ".NET Core" release.

What we will get after .NET Core 3.1 will be simply called .NET 5, sheduled for November 2020.

MSFT decided to skip version #4 because a ".NET 4" would create much to much confusion with the existing .NET Framework 4.x

planned schedule of future .NET releases:

So basically MSFT is planning to ship the next major .NET version once a year, every November.

What about the .NET Framework 4.x - will we see future releases after .NET Framework 4.8? Short answer - no we wont:

".NET Framework 4.8 will be the last major version of .NET Framework. If you have existing .NET Framework applications that you are maintaining, there is no need to move these applications to .NET Core. We will continue to both service and support .NET Framework, which includes bug–, reliability– and security fixes. It will continue to ship with Windows (much of Windows depends on .NET Framework) and we will continue to improve the tooling support for .NET in Visual Studio (Visual Studio is written on .NET Framework)."

.NET 5 is the next step forward with .NET Core. The project aims to improve .NET in a few key ways:

  • Produce a single .NET runtime and framework that can be used everywhere and that has uniform runtime behaviors and developer experiences.
  • Expand the capabilities of .NET by taking the best of .NET Core, .NET Framework, Xamarin and Mono.
  • Build that product out of a single code-base that developers (Microsoft and the community) can work on and expand together and that improves all scenarios.
  • You will have more choice on runtime experiences (Mono, CLR)
  • Java interoperability will be available on all platforms.
  • Objective-C and Swift interoperability will be supported on multiple operating systems.
  • CoreFX will be extended to support static compilation of .NET (ahead-of-time – AOT), smaller footprints and support for more operating systems.
  • All .NET 5 applications will use the CoreFX framework.
  • All .NET 5 applications will be buildable with the .NET CLI = common CLI experience through all kinds of projects

According to MSFT marketing, .NET will become simpler but also have broader and more expansive capability and utility. Well, let's see... Ultimately ".NET" is just short for ".NET Core", nothing else.  So ".NET Core" is - as opposed to ".NET Framework" - the way to go for all future development.