Microsoft Announces End of .NET Framework & .NET Core: Meet .NET 5

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When you write articles like this, you’re not supposed to “bury the lead.” But stick with me here. I need to set the table a bit.

The annual Microsoft Build conference – in process as I write this – has already been filled with a lot of important product announcements. There are far too many to list them all here. But there are a few very important bits of news that Microsoft broke this morning that will have a deep and lasting impact on everyone building websites and applications for businesses. So much so that we decided to drop everything and write up the details and why they matter to you and your business.

The .NET Full Framework … Stops at 4.8

The “current” version of the .NET Full Framework at this moment is 4.7.2. There will be a 4.8, coming very soon.

That’s the good news, but it’s not the BIG news.

The BIG news is that 4.8 will be the LAST major release of the Full Framework. That branch of the .NET development tree will thereafter be considered legacy. There will be periodic critical security, reliability, and bug-fix updates as needed for the next few years. But that’s it – no new features, efficiencies, or improvements.

Why This .NET Framework News Is Important

There are literally millions of websites and applications built on or using components using the .NET Framework. Mission critical enterprise websites and applications need to run on fully supported versions of technology. There are a lot of reasons for this that we won’t go into here (that’s a blog post unto itself). Suffice it to say that a lot depends on it – from interoperability and security to functionality, risk management, and ongoing support contracts among many other things. Those existing websites and applications will need to be updated to run on a supported framework.

Which brings us to ….

.NET Core Will Jump Versions – Going From 3.x to 5.x

Stick with us here.

In further news, our favorite development platform – .NET Core – is in version 3.x now and will run its normal course. But when it comes time for the next top-level release, .NET Core will jump from version 3.x to version 5.0 … sort of (more on that in a moment).

Obviously, this is a cosmetic change. There is no functional reason to skip a major version number unless you are either superstitious – not likely in the development halls of Microsoft – or you are providing a strong market signal.

Which is EXACTLY what they are doing.

There Can Be Only One 

 Richard Lander is the Program Manager for the .Net Team at Microsoft. He just published an article giving us all insight into the roadmap for the .NET program. The title of that article is “Introducing .NET 5” and the top heading is “.NET – A unified platform.”

Do you see what he did there?

We are no longer talking about “.NET Framework” and we will not be talking about “.NET Core” either.

Meet .NET 5

When .NET Core 3.x approaches its next top-level release, not only will it skip the nomenclature of “version 4,” it will drop the word “Core” and become THE ONLY active version of .NET architecture. And this new version is promising even more portability, OS compatibility, and functionality. To quote Richard Lander directly:

“There will be just one .NET going forward, and you will be able to use it to target Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, tvOS, watchOS, and WebAssembly and more. We will introduce new .NET APIs, runtime capabilities and language features as part of .NET 5.”

(punctuation corrected)

What .NET 5 Means for You and Your Business Tech Now

Reconsider Current Development Projects

Developing websites and applications takes a significant amount of time, effort, and investment. That means that most businesses have the expectation that – aside from normal support and updates – the new technology will have a life-cycle of at least three to five years. If you have an active project in development right now being developed on or including .NET Framework, these developments suggest that the life-cycle of the resulting application may be less than that since a legacy framework may not be applicable or compatible to new features and technologies. Therefore, we strongly believe that you should evaluate updating that project to the current version 3 release of .NET Core now.

Update Roadmaps for Mission-Critical Websites & Apps

We anticipated this transition for some time and have been writing about potential implications for three years. Time is now running out. Businesses and enterprises with production and legacy applications running on ASP.NET and .NET Framework should immediately update the development and life-cycle roadmaps for these technologies to quickly include these updates. It’s no longer about just adding new features, security updates, and performance enhancements. As these changes roll out in the coming months, they may impact the viability of your applications to remain competitive.

Microsoft has made and is making significant investments in the new .NET Core / .NET 5 development platform. As we have said many times, this technology is the future of Microsoft’s development stack and will be so for many years to come. There are no counter-indications. It is our opinion and advice that businesses and enterprises can invest securely in the new platforms.

The Future of Microsoft .NET Development Is Now

We have written no fewer than six articles leading up to this announcement by Microsoft. To be clear – we believe that the .NET Core platform is not only one of the most important advancements coming out of Microsoft, it is also long overdue. It’s the right move at the right time. When changes like this occur, they always require additional effort. And change is never “comfortable.” But the new framework technology will help all of our code projects become more efficient, more secure, more nimble, and more performant.

And the time is now.

If you need any help or just want to talk about your project, reach out to us. We’re always happy to help.

Additional .NET Links and Resources

Read Mitch’s Technical Blog on .Net 5:

Read Richard Lander’s .Net Roadmap Announcement Post:

Read TechRepublic’s Write-up on the Announcement:


Contact IowaComputerGurus or Mitch: