What .Net Core 3.0 means for developers

Microsoft and the .Net Foundation have rolled out a major upgrade to the .Net Core platform

It’s hard to believe that .Net is nearly 18 years old; the first public release of the .Net Framework was in February 2002. Over the years it has become the foundation of much of Windows development, and with the release of .Net Core in 2014 and the formation of the .Net Foundation it has begun a move away from its proprietary roots to an open source development model that’s intended to be the basis of all .Net development.

.Net Core launched with a limited set of features but has rapidly started to catch up with the .Net Framework. Where it was initially for console and web applications, it’s now ready for the desktop and for GUI code. We’re not far from Microsoft shifting all .Net support to .Net Core and the .Net Standard libraries that provide a common set of APIs for your code across the various .Net implementations, including Xamarin and Unity.

Third time’s the charm

Microsoft recently launched Version 3.0 of .Net Core. It’s a big update to the platform, with many new APIs and, at last, support for Windows desktop applications. It adds support for C# 8.0 and .Net Standard 2.1, as well as ARM64 support across multiple operating systems, including Linux. Browser-hosted apps will get a boost from Microsoft’s Blazor Web Assembly and server-side tools.

Windows desktop support is perhaps the biggest change to .Net Core in this release. It’s important to note that any apps that use Windows desktop components can’t take advantage of .Net Core’s cross-platform capabilities. You may want to go back to the original Xamarin approach of developing multiple solutions in a single Visual Studio project that builds on a common core of code with different, targeted UIs for each solution.

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