The version of .NET, formerly known as .NET Core, is approaching release in November, with the 5.0 Release Candidate 2 version of .NET containing updates to the packaging of the major ASP.NET Core and Entity Framework Core frameworks, as well as a release ready license.

Contrary to the confusion between the .NET Framework (Windows only) and the .NET Core (cross-platform), Microsoft simply mentions the next .NET version and adds support for Windows Forms and the Windows Presentation Foundation, although there is still a lot of work to be done because the GUI options still only work in Windows.

It seems that ASP.NET and Entity Framework keep the name Core for reasons known to Microsoft’s branding department.

RC2 is not the right time to introduce new features, and Microsoft’s Senior Program Director, Richard Lander, said the team wanted to report the remaining critical bugs not related to helping customers with their production use.

Lander added that Microsoft already uses .NET 5.0 internally. According to him at least one large team I know works for RC1 in production. We hope it doesn’t work under Azure Active Directory, but it does work with Microsoft’s .NET site – as indicated by the lowercase Powered by .NET 5.0.0-rc.2.20475.5 in the footer.

One of the side-effects of extending the .NET kernel to Windows desktop applications is that the .NET team is now paying some attention to it in theory, although the developers complain that the Windows Presentation Foundation is still being ignored.

Lander noted that .NET 5.0 will contain ClickOnce, a convenient configuration tool for implementing desktop applications via a web link or network sharing, with an automatic prompt for updates when new versions are released. We doubted the original publication. The ClickOnce link has been updated to support frame-dependent applications, which means that the .NET runtime is set automatically when needed. Lander said that we also plan to support offline and one-time applications, indicating that this part may not be ready for official publication next month.

Thank God ClickOnce is back, the developer said. The last ClickOnce for .NET 4.8 link was damaged in Windows 10.

The .NET 5.0 runtime environment has an installer for Windows on 64-bit ARM, although Microsoft cannot support desktop applications for the first version on this platform. We hope to add a desktop package for Windows Arm64 to the service update, says Lander.

NET 5.0 replaces the .NET kernel and the .NET framework - although it is actually the next version of the .NET kernel and inherits the old .NET framework.

NET 5.0 replaces the .NET kernel and the .NET framework – although it is actually the next version of the .NET kernel and inherits the old .NET framework.

The new ASP.NET kernel is also RC2 and is also supported in production. The list of new features, such as RC1, is short, but includes fixes for how CSS files are delivered in the package for the Blazor application, as well as fixes for debugging Blazor WebAssembly. The main libraries of the .NET 5.0 framework are annotated to indicate what works when performing WebAssembly, so developers now get a warning in the Code Editor if they try to invoke an unsupported method. The Entity Framework Core 5.0 RC2 has not documented any new features since RC1, but has a license to use them.

Despite the fact that there are rightly few new features in RC2 compared to RC1, there is a huge list of new features in .NET 5.0 compared to its predecessor, .NET 3.1. These include C# 9, F# 5.0, single file applications, reduced container images, and ARM64 support. Blazor Web Assembly (.NET running in the browser) will use the .NET 5.0 libraries instead of the mono libraries used in the current version, although it will continue to use the mono runtime.

WinUI 3.0, an important part of the Reunion project, Microsoft’s efforts to unravel different desktop development frameworks, is scheduled for next month in Preview 3, but will not be supported in production until 2021.

Although Lander insists on the industrial use of .NET 5.0, it is not a long-term support (LTS). In exchange, we expect .NET 6.0 next year. This includes full alignment with Xamarin, where Xamarin forms become .NET MAUI (Multi-Platform Application User Interface). Microsoft always gives you enough time to wait. ®

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