Microsoft had some announcements to make regarding .NET at Build 2019 today. The company says the upcoming release of .NET Core 3 will be the last in that particular line of names. From then, the platform will be called .NET 5.

In its explanation blog post, Microsoft says .NET 5 will be a merger of classic .NET Framework with the open source .NET Core. This will create a single .NET platform, something users of the software framework have been asking for.

“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,” Microsoft’s Richard Lander announced. “We will introduce new .NET APIs, runtime capabilities and language features as part of .NET 5.”

This integration of both services makes sense. If you are not familiar with .NET Core, it is basically the exact same tool at .NET. The key difference it is open source and available across platforms. While it is a solid framework, it has been hobbled by a limited functionality on Windows.

Some developers would have to use migration tools to move existing code bases to the platform. By combining the two .NET service, Microsoft is solving these issues.


As a single solution, .NET 5 will replace .NET Core 3 and .NET Framework 4.8. However, that won’t be happening for some time. Microsoft says the change will be ready for shipping in November 2020, while an opening preview should arrive early next year.

The company adds .NET 5 will be supported through updates to the recently launched Visual Studio 2019 and Visual Studio Code.

Microsoft says .NET 5 aims to make the following improvements:

  • “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.”