Microsoft .NET 6 Set for November 9 Release

Posted on May 29, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Dev with 12 Comments

This week during Build 2021, Microsoft issued .NET 6 Preview 4 and revealed that the final .NET 6 version will ship on November 9.

“We’re now about halfway through the .NET 6 release,” Microsoft’s Richard Lander revealed. “Many features are in close-to-final form and others will come soon now that the foundational building blocks are in place for the release. Preview 4 establishes a solid base for delivering a final .NET 6 build in November, with finished features and experiences. It’s also ready for real-world testing if you haven’t yet tried .NET 6 in your environment.”

Microsoft .NET 6 will mark the completion of the software giant’s plan to unify .NET development after splitting off the open-source .NET Core from the original, proprietary .NET versions. This work began with the release of .NET 5 last year, but .NET 6 marks the culmination of this platform consolidation.

Microsoft also plans several important related releases at around the same time, including .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI), the replacement for Xamarin.Forms across Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS; Project Reunion, which makes Universal Windows Platform (UWP) technologies more broadly available to desktop developers targeting Windows; and Blazor desktop web apps.

.NET 6 Preview 4 is now available for download across Windows, macOS, and Linux. “Go live” builds of .NET 6 are expected this August, and Microsoft will issue the final version of .NET on November 9 during a virtual .NET Conf 2021 event.

You can learn more about .NET 6 and the various developer technologies that Microsoft is building with it via the Build 2021 session The future of modern application development with .NET.

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Comments (12)

12 responses to “Microsoft .NET 6 Set for November 9 Release”

  1. bschnatt

    I, for one, welcome our new .NET overlords...

  2. shameer_mulji

    Is it fair to say that this is when we'll also see the official public release of the "Next Generation Windows"?

  3. wright_is

    I will be interested to see if they have now achieved feature parity with .Net 4. One of the problems with Core was that it was severely cut down, compared to what existing versions allowed developers to do.

  4. adamstaiwan

    It looks like .Net 6 will be both a Reunion and a separation again of frameworks: One for windows and one for cross platform (Maui).

  5. dftf

    As I'm not a developer, I never really "get" how things work around .NET Framework.


    I know it's a language apps can be coded in, and you used to have to install it for those apps to run (such as 4.8 on Windows 7, or 2.0/3.0/3.5 has to be turned-on via "Windows Features" on Windows 10), similar to how some apps need certain editions of the Visual C++ runtimes.


    And I get that the latest 4.x version comes as part of Windows 10 thesedays.


    But this article talks about .NET 6, and yet what about .NET 5... does a typical user need to install the ".NET Desktop Runtime 5.0.6" package for anything? Will a future version of Windows 10 include it?


    (On a related note, Java is also confusing thesedays: the latest stable-release is apparently "Java SE 16". Yet the latest installer for Windows is "Version 8 Update 291". So presumably that would mean if an app is coded in Java 9 or later, it wouldn't run in the version they offer for Windows... yes?)

    • saint4eva

      .NET Framework has always come with Windows. .NET Framework 4.8 is going to be the last version of .NET Framework - it only will receive patches and security fixes and will be supported throughout the entire existence of Windows. However, it will not be receiving new features.


      However, the .NET team decided to go open source, cross-platform, and high performance, hence .NET Core. .NET Core runs on Windows, Linux, MacOS, mobile devices, IoT etc. It can be used to develop apps/ solutions e.g. desktops, mobile apps, web apps, IoT solutions, Big Data, Machine Learning, apps that run on Tvs and fridges, and game apps. The .NET team decided to remove "core" from the name, so we have only .NET - an attempt to unify the .NET ecosystem. Then, the team decided to start with .NET 5, since it is bigger than version 4 - as to avoid confusion with the Windows only .NET Framework 4.8. Going forward, you will have .NET 6, .NET 7, .NET 8 etc, and they will run cross platform and use in developing apps targeting multi platforms.


      The development experience of .NET is getting better that you can package your app with the runtime so you would not need to have .NET installed in user's devices or system.

      • wright_is

        The only problem, currently, is that .NET (Core) isn't (or wasn't, last time I looked) fully compatible with .NET 4.8. That means developers can't just recompile for 5 or 6, they will need to strip out functionality from their existing applications and write around the "potholes" in 5 and 6 that haven't been filled in yet.


        It is the same story with WinRT and UWP, they were the "future" of Windows, but had a fraction of the current functionality, so developers didn't adopt it, because it would mean throwing away a lot of functionality and user friendliness, whilst waiting for those frameworks to catch up, so they could re-introduce it at a later date. Commercial suicide.


        So WinRT and UWP were the bits that died, instead.


        For Microsoft, it is a dilemma, you need the new framework out there and you need developers to adopt it as quickly as possible to find what needs to be worked on going forward. But, because it is out early enough to get feedback, it is too early for anybody to bother using it, because it isn't as "good" in terms of functionality as what they already have. It might be easier to program, but what is the point, if you can't do what you need? It is the chicken and egg situation, Microsoft keep yo-yoing back and forth between the chicken and the egg, whilst the developers sit there waiting for roast chicken with a fried egg on top to be served up to them.


        .NET 5 and 6 have one advantage over UWP and WinRT, they are cross-platform (and they are open source (the latter isn't theoretically necessary, but in practice, because they are trying to woo Linux and UNIX developers, there is probably no way around it, on an ideology front)).

        • mobabo3040

          I am a little curious to know about the libraries that you're missing out on when you're using .NET Core as opposed to .NET Framework. I recently developed a couple of large applications in .NET Core 3.1 and found it to be completely on-par with .NET Framework.

          • wright_is

            I can't remember off hand, but I looked at it when 5 was in Beta and I think WMI and Registry were limited or non-existent. But I've been out of development for a couple of years now, so haven't been following the progress, hence my remark that I hoped they had caught up and now had function parity.

    • wright_is

      .NET is a series of system APIs or libraries, as we used to call them. They are high level constructs for interacting with the underlying operating system, providing conveniently named ways of doing things.


      They are not a programming language, they are a bunch of APIs that a bunch of diverse languages can adopt and use to interact with the OS, without them or the developer having to constantly re-invent the wheel to access the OS. You can use VisualBasic, C#, Python or a host of other compatible languages that "understand" the .NET interfaces.


      And, yes, you will need to install the relevant runtimes going forward. I would guess it will be like the old .NET, Windows 10 will include the currently supported iteration and if your software needs an older version, you/it will need to install that as well. For example, our old CTI software used .Net 3.5, so we had to back-install that on all our PCs, before we could roll-out the CTI software to our users.


      (CTI is the telephony interface stuff that allows you to dial numbers on your desktop phone from your PC or have it display the incoming call information on your monitor etc. We switched (finally) to Swyx last week, so we now have a 100% software "desktop" telephone system, so we only need a headset connected to our PCs and the old desktop phones go away. It also means we are available in home office directly over our phone system, no forwarding it to other phones, E.g. home line or mobile phone.)

    • mobabo3040

      Welcome to the new world of LTS and non-LTS software. The reason you (and, in fact, most developers themselves!) haven't heard much about things like .NET 5 or Java 16 is because they are non-LTS software that's only supported for a year or so. Most developers build apps with the LTS versions of these tools, which are currently .NET Core 3.1 and Java 11. And, yes, you're right in that apps that are written for a particular version of .NET/Java won't usually work in previous versions (and, increasingly, later versions as well). End result is that most PC have multiple copies of .NET and Java runtimes installed, causing bloat.

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