.NET 8 Released
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 15 November 2023

.NET 8 has been generally released. This is the latest long term support (LTS) version that will be supported for the next three years. Microsoft says the new version delivers improvements to the performance, stability, and security, as well as platform and tooling enhancements aimed at increasing developer productivity and speed of innovation.

.NET was created from a combination of .NET Framework and .NET Core.

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In terms of new tools, .NET 8 comes with a preview of .NET Aspire, a stack for building observable, production-ready cloud-native applications. In practical terms, there's a set of components designed for cloud-native applications that include telemetry, resilience, configuration, and health checks by default.

A new code generator called Dynamic Profile-Guided Optimization (PGO) is also part of the mix. This looks at code usage and optimizes your code on that basis. It's enabled by default and Microsoft says it can improve the performance of your apps up to 20%. Another performance improvement is support for the AVX-512 instruction set, which means code can perform parallel operations on 512-bit vectors of data, so reducing data processing time.

Support for containers is another area to have been improved. Every .NET image now includes a non-root user, making it easier to set up more secure containers with one-line configuration. The .NET SDK tooling publishes container images without a Dockerfile and are non-root by default. There's also new Chiseled Ubuntu image variants to reduce the attack surface.

Several additions have been made to make it easier to use AI, with AI features added to the .NET SDK. The System.Numerics library has improved its compatibility with Generative AI workloads, such as integrating Tensor Primitives, and Microsoft has worked with internal and external partners including Azure OpenAI, Azure Cognitive Search, Milvus, Qdrant, and Microsoft Teams, to make it easier to access AI models, services, and platforms through their respective SDKs. The open-source Semantic Kernel SDK also simplifies the integration of these AI components into applications.

Elsewhere, there's a new Visual Studio Code extension for .NET MAUI for developing cross-platform .NET mobile and desktop apps, and C# 12 has a simplified syntax with the ability to create primary constructors in any class and struct, and new default values for parameters in lambda expressions.

.NET 8 is available for download now.

More Information

.NET 8 Download

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