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.NET is one of the most widely used frameworks today and it continues to become more popular and advanced with its open-source approach. Backed by an extremely strong community, .NET is now considered one of the top development frameworks in the market because of its robust and reliable nature. Let’s dive into the history of .Net and what to expect for the future.

So what is .NET?

.NET is an open-source development platform that was created by Microsoft to help developers build all kinds of high-quality applications. According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey in 2019 and 2020, .NET ranked as the #1 most-loved framework. .NET gives developers the power to target any type of application and run that on any platform. Applications developed by .NET have a higher response time and less compute time. This not only saves time but also costs.

Brief History of .NET?

To deep dive into the history of .Net let’s go to the beginning. Even though Microsoft launched its revolutionary framework, .NET version 1.0 on 13th February 2002; they actually started developing it in the late 1990s. That is more than two decades ago! The first beta version of .NET 1.0 was released in the early 2000s. .NET was originally named Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS). When the.NET project was announced at the Professional Developers Conference in July of 2000, Microsoft was working alongside Intel to standardize Common Language Infrastructure and C#.

At the time, Microsoft released .NET Framework 1.0 and Visual Studio.NET with ASP.NET Web Forms as the core parts of the package. In the first version 1.0s, the main feature was the CLR, and it supported the object-oriented development of web apps. Since .NET 1.0, Microsoft has released nine additional upgrades to the ASP.NET Framework, seven of which have been released with new versions of Visual Studios.

Version 1.1 of.NET was released on April 9th, 2003 with the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and .NET Framework geared toward polyglot programming which included the first Common Language Interface (CLI) and Common Language Runtime, allowing multiple programming languages to be interpreted and executed in the same application. 

Microsoft announced on October 3rd, 2007 that source code and libraries for.NET would be made available in .NET Framework 3.5 version under a Microsoft reference software license. On January 16, 2008, the source code repository became available online which included BCL, ASP.NET, ADO.NET, Windows Forms, WPF, and XML.

In contrast to earlier versions, the new.NET Compact Framework 3.5 was released with the update simultaneously to support additional features for Windows Mobile, Windows Embedded, and CE devices. Both versions of.NET Framework shared libraries are used by Metro-style apps and are part of Windows Runtime. The.NET Compact Framework includes a smaller version of the.NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) which supports the development of.NET debugging, Visual Basic,.NET debugging, and emulators for hardware with Microsoft Visual Studio. It has a subset of .NET base class libraries (70 classes with 420 methods) and.NETMF functions that can be added to libraries that are specific to embedded applications

ASP.NET Framework released with Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 allowed multiple JavaScript files to be combined in one file for efficient downloading, opening new namespaces and controlling browsing history.

To address patent concerns related to the .NET Framework, version 4.0 was skipped. In November of 2020, NET 5.0 was released by Microsoft replacing .NET Framework. The “Core” branding was discarded from this version.

What is the future of .NET?

Microsoft released .NET 6 Release Candidate 1 on 14th September 2021. This is a part of the first two “go live” release candidate releases which are supported in production. This version is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS. Find latest details for .NET 6

Microsoft has projected to do major releases in November per year. Here is the official projected release schedule:

Future of .Net


Although we covered the history of .Net briefly and touched up a little on what to expect in the future we understand clearly that .NET is constantly emerging and evolving. With the power of Visual Studio, Azure, C#, and open-source library .NET is pushing forward with a growing ecosystem. .Net most certainly has a bright future.




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