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Why Is the Latest Version of .NET So Much Better Than Older Versions?

It’s possible to remain relevant in tech, provided you’re willing to evolve. The Microsoft programming framework known as .NET (you know, “dot-net”) was launched officially in 2002 but has been in development since the 1990s. It was intended to address many of the faults programmers had with C++ back in the day. Notably, there was the complaint that C++ was a clunky, slow language to code and debug in, forcing developers to bring everything to a halt to pinpoint coding errors. 

Closely tied to the beginning of .NET was the development of C#, which was intentionally introduced as one of the first programming languages within the .NET framework, specifically designed to take advantage of the features of the .NET platform. The language was designed to be simple and easy to learn, with a focus on modern programming paradigms such as object-oriented programming and component-based development. C# and .NET remain closely intertwined today, and is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. When he began the C# project in 1999, chief developer Anders Hejlsberg named it the C-like Object-Oriented Language, or Cool — but trademark issues forced a name change to C#. By 2000, when the .NET framework was announced, it bore the new name, and all of .NET’s class libraries and ASP.NET runtime had been fully converted to Hejlsberg’s new language.

One of .NET’s chief selling points was that it allowed runtime code execution, which cut down massively on development time. It added multiple add-ons that made it easier to develop applications for a variety of uses, like the WinForms GUI library; ASP.NET web frameworks and ADO.NET, a data access tool. .NET came with base libraries for frameworks, base classes and more. Subsequent .NET Framework updates added APIs, graphic systems, and so on, and .NET became hugely popular among developers of both web and mobile applications.

Then came a game changer. 

How did switching from .NET Framework to .NET Core change things?

The original iterations of .NET, known as .NET Framework, were only designed for the Windows operating systems for desktops. In 2016, Microsoft turned.NET Framework into .NET Core. It was now open-source, cross-platform and easy to use with the cloud. As a result, writing in .NET for non-Windows operating systems like macOS and Linux is no longer a problem. Microsoft also made improvements to performance, scalability, modularity, microservices support and more. It was written from scratch, so it’s like a lighter, faster version of .NET Framework without the baggage and optimized for current-gen applications and modern developer workflows. 

Technically speaking, .NET Core is now a platform on which frameworks like ASP.NET Core and the Universal Windows Platform run to extend the actions the .NET Core platform can perform. This is part of the new structure that allows it to be used for a wider range of applications, including mobile, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, gaming and more.

Why is .NET Core 7 so great?

The latest version of .NET Core is .NET Core 7, which launched in November 2022. It finalizes Microsoft’s move away from .NET Framework to .NET Core, with improvements in nearly all aspects and emphasizing .NET Core’s main strengths, such as speed and flexibility. 

Changes include:

APIs for TAR archives, the popular method of sending files on Unix systems.

On-stack replacement, or OSR. This allows developers to make changes to executed code in the middle of its execution. 

Adding microseconds and nanoseconds to DateTime, for even more precise calculations.

More efficient distribution of I/O requests, the way the operating system and the drivers communicate with each other.

Better command line performance.

New data types, type converters, and more efficient functionality for data streams.

A regex code generator and over all regex improvements. The regular-expression code generator can cut down on programming time.

Native AOT is now official. Microsoft’s Ahead of Time project improves startup times, memory and more.

Associated improvements for .NET MAUI, Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, NuGet, and Roslyn.

Overall, .NET Core 7 shows that Microsoft fully believes the evolution of its programming framework is the way of the future, and a stalwart has been modernized with robust improvements throughout.

Let us know if you have questions about how .NET Core 7 can benefit your business.


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