The classic .NET Framework up to and including version 4.8 has so far been emulated on Arm64 processors. The functional update 4.8.1 that has just been released offers a native implementation that is said to run faster.
In a blog entry, Microsoft mentions various installation options for .NET Framework 4.8.1. The new version is also installed with Visual Studio 2022 Version 17.3, which after a few months in the preview phase has now been released at the same time as .NET Framework 4.8.1, as the following screenshot shows:
.NET Framework 4.8.1 is new on the .NET Framework download page (Fig. 1).
.NET Framework 4.8.1 runs on the client operating systems Windows 11, Windows 10 21H2, Windows 10 21H1 and Windows 10 20H2 as well as Windows Server 2022.
Microsoft has improved the tooltips for the GUI frameworks Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) contained in the classic .NET Framework. They now fully comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.1 of the W3C in point 1.4.13: Content on Hover or Focus.
At this point, however, there are differences between Windows Forms and WPF. The latter had already largely implemented the WCAG standard 2.1 in version 4.8.0, and in version 4.8.1 there were only minor improvements in the area of closing tooltips (with the Escape, CTRL or CTRL+Shift+F10 keys). . For WPF, WCAG 2.1 compliance applies to all Windows versions mentioned here, since it is implemented in WPF itself.
With Windows Forms, on the other hand, users only benefit from the improved accessibility of tooltips on Windows 11, because Windows Forms does not offer its own implementation, but is based on the Windows operating system API, which only corresponds to WCAG 2.1 in the Windows 11 implementation .
In addition to the tooltips, Windows Forms also offers other innovations on all Windows versions when reading out text fields and data grids. In addition, the contrast of some controls has been increased. According to a November 2021 post, these improvements are already implemented in .NET 6.0, which has been around since November 2021.
First new features since 2019
The classic Windows-bound .NET Framework has been around since 2002 and celebrated its 20th birthday in January 2022. Microsoft shipped version 4.8 in April 2019 and shortly thereafter explained in a blog post by Scott Hunter that .NET Framework 4.8 will be the last major version of .NET Framework. Since then there have only been bugfix updates via the Windows update function, but these are regular. The update to version 4.8.1 was announced by Scott Hunter, Director of Program Management for .NET, at .NET Conf 2021 in November 2021.
According to the Microsoft blog entry, an update to version 4.8.1 is not enforced – version 4.8 should therefore continue to receive bug fix updates.
The classic .NET Framework is still in use
Microsoft is concentrating on the development of the modern, modular and platform-neutral .NET versions, which were called “.NET Core” from version 1.0 to 3.1 and – after omitting a series of versions 4.x – since version 5.0 are only called “.NET”. . The current stable version of modern .NET 6 is 6.0.8 (also released on August 9, 2022). The upcoming version 7.0 of .NET has reached the stage of a preview 7.
Even if Microsoft is rapidly promoting the modern .NET, numerous applications still run on the classic .NET Framework in everyday business life, since the conversion to modern .NET causes a lot of migration effort depending on the libraries used. A Heise series on .NET Core 3.1 from 2020 is largely still up to date with regard to the migration paths described therein and the associated effort.
Incidentally, Visual Studio 2022 continues to use the classic .NET Framework, as do applications that are delivered with Windows, such as PowerShell and some MMC consoles.
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