Microsoft has this week started to roll out the first preview of .NET 6, bringing major improvements to the managed computer software framework. Like predecessors, this latest version will be available across Windows, Mac, and Linux.
As .NET 6 is a major release upgrade on last year's .NET 5, it will bring some significant changes. Microsoft is making notable improvements across desktop, mobile, and cloud apps.
You may remember .NET 5 was launched a year ago as a replacement for .NET Core and .NET Framework. It is a merger of classic .NET Framework with the open source .NET Core. The new .NET creates a single .NET platform, something users of the software framework have been asking for.
With the preview of .NET 6, Microsoft is enhancing the idea that arrived last year as .NET 5. Some of the major changes coming in this preview can be seen below.
- “Integrating the Android, iOS, and macOS capabilities that are part of Xamarin into .NET 6.
- Extending what you can do with Blazor into a new kind of hybrid client app — combining web and native UI together — that can be used for desktop and mobile scenarios.
- .NET Multi-platform App UI is a modern UI toolkit that builds upon and extends Xamarin as part of .NET 6 unification.
- Making the build run significantly faster with a set of performance-related projects. Another improvement will enable your code edits to be applied to a live process without restarting it.
- Improvements to ARM64 support. On Windows, Microsoft is adding support for Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Framework (WPF), with initial support in Preview 1. On Mac, Microsoft is adding support for Apple Silicon (Arm64) chips (native and emulated), with initial support in Preview 1.
- Container improvements:
- Improve scaling in containers, and better support for Windows process-isolated containers. We also plan a new form of container performance testing focused on density and aggregate machine performance.
- Reduce container image size using PGO (more on that later; see “very cold” split).
- Increase startup and throughput performance by using ready to run version bubbles.
- Increase startup and throughput performance by using modern vector instructions by default.
- [Advanced scenario] Enable large page support with ready to run composite images.”
.NET 6 Preview 1 is available across desktop platforms from the following links:
- Installers and binaries
- Container images
- Linux packages
- Release notes
- Known issues
- GitHub issue tracker
Looking ahead, this preview is just the beginning of the .NET 6 journey. Expect more improvements to be made over upcoming releases. Microsoft says it expects the ready version to be released to the public in November this year.
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