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Is .NET Framework Dead and What is Its Future?

The Microsoft ASP.NET has come a long way since its inception in January 2002. For a long time, the platform has remained a popular choice amongst most custom software development service providers. But, after a strong legacy of over two decades now, the fate of the .NET framework has come under question. While some .NET professionals call it the power player of the future, some are disappointed by its lack of updates and pronounce it dead.

Dead or not, as per a report by w3techs, ASP.NET is still used by 7.9% of all the websites whose server-side programming languages are known. However, it is not anywhere close to the usage statistics of PHP which amounts to 78% of all frameworks.

In the world of technology, change is the only constant. Is there a big change waiting ahead for the .NET framework? What is the future of the .NET framework? Let’s dive into it.

What is ASP.NET?

ASP.NET was designed and developed as an open-source server-side web application framework for web development to make dynamic web pages. It is a free of cost web framework which can be utilised for building and running desktop and server-side applications on Windows. .NET is compatible with high-level languages such as C#, F#, and Visual Basic.

Is .NET Framework Dead?

Not in clear words, but otherwise Microsoft has made it clear that the .NET framework as we know it today is on its way to the retirement home. As industry experts such as the co-founders of comment on ifourtechnolab’s website — “It seems that .NET’s product cycle is coming to a close. While it’s not in the immediate future, it certainly has already been hit with an end date, with v.4.7 ending in 2022.”

In 2019, Microsoft announced that the .NET v.4.8 would be the last release of the framework. But it did not mean an actual end to the legacy framework system. With the release of .NET Core 3.0 later in 2019, a new era of .NET framework began. Eventually, .NET Core 5.0 succeeded the .NET Core 3.0. Thus, in other words, it can be said that the .NET Core has replaced the legacy .NET framework. However, it did not contain many features that the .NET Framework did.

Many legacy systems of the original framework have been replaced or discontinued in the new framework of .NET Core. For instance, the .NET application development services enterprises have been using .NET web forms and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) both of which are now defunct since the .NET Core 5.0. This has forced many core development companies to use alternatives such as Blazor and gRPC or CoreWCF respectively.

In general, Microsoft has tried to unify .NET and .NET Core platforms. By means of these, the developers can no longer utilise the key features of the original platform. In this sense, the .NET framework seems to be dead.

Read more: Pros and Cons of .NET Application Development

What is the Future of .NET Framework?

As it is crystal clear that .NET Framework is on its way out and that Microsoft is now focusing on making .NET Core more agile and powerful by introducing relevant and latest versions each year. The .NET 6.0 version was released in early November 2021 despite the opposing conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. The .NET Core 7.0 and 8.0 versions are scheduled to be released in the November of 2022 and 2023 respectively. Meanwhile, the older system continues to receive smaller updates on a need basis. This has assisted the .net development services to stay on top of their game.

The .NET 5.0 and version 6.0 have cross-platform abilities and mostly provide what most developers seek. They are better equipped for the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile application development.

The version 6.0 update was one of its kind since it transformed the proprietary .NET framework into an open-source, cross-platform development platform. It is the fastest and the most secure .NET yet. The version boasts several of features like:

  • Improved Security
  • Long-term support version
  • Hot Reload
  • Improved performance across the board
  • Unified platform for browser, cloud, desktop, mobile, and IoT
  • Arm64 Support
  • C# 10 and F#6 with language improvements

The versions and updates like these have enhanced the capability of the framework and infused confidence amongst all the dot net development company. The enterprises are now more committed to its continued use in the future.

As per the 2020 Developer Survey, when focusing purely on web frameworks, ASP.NET and.NET Core both make their place in the top 10 frameworks as per developers’ choice with 22.9% and 20.3% share respectively.

  • Open -Source Policy: The lowering down of entry barriers to .NET has helped Microsoft to earn a reputation just like Java and Python owe much of their credibility and value to their open-source policy. The .NET 6.0 accessibility for education could change the course of .NET development in 2022 ahead.
  • Future of .NET Apps: The applications written in .NET will continue to function unhindered without any more feature additions. The .NET development and bug fixes for such apps may move onto open-source platforms like Xamarin.
  • Major Blazor: Blazor has been promised a bright future by Microsoft. The promise of this technology is huge in the future. It will run .Net code in all browsers with no browser plugin required and much more.
  • Security: .NET has become very secure since the November 2021 version update. This will enhance the trustworthiness of the .NET framework in the future and positively impact the business of net development services providers.
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Developers: The new platform has many opportunities for the new developers. However, the old developer will have to face the challenge of learning and transitioning to the new .NET Core.
  • Unified Platform: Since .NET 6.0 is a unified platform, the framework aids the development requirements of cloud, desktop, IoT, browser, and mobile apps. This new capability will assist the dotnet development services to reuse code across apps and platforms
  • Hot Reload: The Hot Reload feature of the.NET 6.0 is a major advantage of the version. With this arm in the arsenal, the developer can increase their productivity and reduce time as they can see changes immediately.

Conclusion: So is the .NET Framework Dead?

It is not dead, and it will not be in the foreseeable future.

The .NET Core updates may have distressed many developers. They may not be able to use the major functions of the original platform due to significant modifications made by unifying the .NET and .NET Core frameworks. But the benefits that Microsoft promised to bring from the .NET Core 3.0 version and beyond should make it the popular choice amongst the developers.

A large number of developers still appreciate and love the .NET Core framework. Statistically, as per the 2020 Developer Survey by Stack Overflow,.NET Core emerged as the most loved framework with 71.5% trust votes by professionals.

Hiring the best custom software development company like BoTree Technologies is a great way for companies to revive their digital needs and get high-quality products.

Contact our experts today for .NET development services.

Originally published at on March 10, 2022.



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