5 Microsoft developer tools and technologies to explore in 2020

What should Microsoft platform developers focus on in 2020? .NET 5, WinUI 3.0, AKS, WSL 2, and Azure Sphere, for starters

5 Microsoft developer tools and technologies to explore in 2020

At the end of 2019, it’s worth looking ahead as you put together your application development plans and your technology roadmaps. The last few years have delivered a lot of change for anyone building on Microsoft’s many platforms, and that pace isn’t slowing down.

What should you be looking at in 2020, and why? Here are five options for Windows, for Azure, and beyond. They’re not the only ones, but they should start you on a road to a more modern set of development platforms and tools.

Start the transition to .NET 5

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing anyone building .NET code is the change from the aging .NET Framework to .NET Core with the release of .NET 5 towards the end of 2020. Bringing together the two strands of .NET makes sense, even if it does require losing some older APIs. Microsoft has put out a list of what will and won’t make the transition on the .NET GitHub repository. Some of the missing APIs will shift to community implementations, while others gain more modern alternatives.

If you support and develop .NET Framework code, 2020 gives you a good opportunity to explore how code will be delivered in the future. The current .NET Core 3.1 release is a long-term support version and, together with the .NET Standard libraries, supports many of the APIs that will be in .NET 5. Porting code to .NET Core 3.1 gives you an opportunity to explore not only what changes need to be made to your code, but also to build a new toolchain.

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