|Developer Preview Of .NET 6 Released|
|Written by Kay Ewbank|
|Monday, 22 February 2021|
The first developer preview of .NET 6 has been released. .NET 6 is due for release in November 2021 and, according to Microsoft, will deliver the final parts of the .NET unification plan that started with .NET 5.
.NET was created from a combination of .NET Framework and .NET Core. Microsoft's plan when .NET 5 was announced was that developers would be able to create a single native .NET 5 project to target Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, tvOS, watchOS and WebAssembly.
The new release aims to offer developers more platforms for apps, with the integration of the Android, iOS, and macOS capabilities that are part of Xamarin into .NET 6. Microsoft is also extending what the use of Blazor from being aimed purely at web apps to enable the development of a new kind of hybrid client app that combines web and native UI together and that can be used for both desktop and mobile.
The other major improvement is the adoption of a "more open planning process with .NET 6". Microsoft has over recent versions planned .NET releases with a hierarchical model of themes, epics, and user stories, with priorities and categories. This model has now been made available to developers with the aim of offering a broader view of what Microsoft sees as the features that are the most important. They say that this makes it easier to find opportunities to engage and contribute.
The GitHub theme and epic issues for .NET 6 were first made visible in September. This is the first time Microsoft has used GitHub issues - for .NET 5, they used Azure DevOps. The developer team says that the best way to get an all-up view of their plans is to use the Blazor-based themesof.net app.
In more practical terms, the preview includes .NET Multi-platform App UI, a modern UI toolkit that builds upon and extends Xamarin as part of .NET 6 unification. Blazor support has been extended to desktop apps, and container support has been improved.
.NET 6 has been tested with Visual Studio 16.9 Preview 4 and Visual Studio for Mac 8.9, and the developers recommend you use those builds if you want to try .NET 6.
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