What’s new in .NET 6 Preview 1? Things you need to know

Karl Gorman
.NET 6 PREVIEW 1

A couple of months ago Microsoft announced .NET 6 release as the first step to achieve .NET unification. Microsoft’s goal is to have a single set of tools, APIs, and languages you can use across multiple platforms. On February 17th the tech giant announced a release of a .NET 6 Preview 1 as the next step of a big .NET utilization plan.
In this article, we’ll highlight the achievements of a new release and hopefully will clarify to you the whole .NET utilization process.

What Is .NET?

.NET is a free, cross-platform, and open-source developer platform. It is used to build various types of applications. .NET allows you to build apps that’ll support multiple languages, editors. The platform has numerous libraries to build web, mobile, desktop, and IoT apps as well as games.

Why .NET 5 Wasn’t Enough?

Microsoft’s overall goal is to transform outdated Windows .NET Framework into a modern product. First .NET Core and then .NET 5 significantly increased .NET benefits. Although .NET 5 big mission to unify .NET failed due to the pandemic. So .NET 6 Preview 1 is here to complete that effort. NET 6 Preview 1 will finally allow to create unified apps for desktop, web, cloud, mobile, gaming, IoT, AI and more operating on Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Mac/Mac Catalyst, Windows Arm64, iOS/tvOS, and others.

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What’s New In .NET 6 Preview 1?

Integration of Android, iOS, and macOS functionality

.NET 6 comes with a brand new multi-platform app user interface. It’s a Xamarin add-on that allows a .NET developer to get a single app view across different platforms. It also improves .NET programming by allowing developers to share code. Microsoft announced that the focus of .NET 6 versions will be performance and overall improvement of .NET programming experiences. .NET 6 Preview 1 is supporting only Android and iOS. Although a tech giant promises to add Windows and macOS support in upcoming releases.

Blazor technology to combine web and native UI

To fully appreciate this update, we’d have to dive deeper into what is .NET used for. And it’s often used to create apps with feature-rich UI. Blazor is expected to expand .NET programming. At the moment, Blazor desktop is being created for .NET apps. In the future, Microsoft is planning to allow developers to use it on stacks like Swift too.

Faster performance technology

Microsoft’s latest .NET release is providing significantly faster performance. Also, .NET 6 allows developers to apply code edits in real-time now. The goal of this improvement is of course to enable faster build time.

Improvements to ARM64 support

Microsoft adds support for Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Framework (WPF for Windows and support for Apple Silicon (Arm64) both native and emulated chips for Mac OS.

Containers improvement

  • Microsoft improved containers scaling and developed better support for process-isolated containers on Windows. They also are planning to create a container performance testing that will be in charge of density and aggregate machine performance;
  • The new .NET version also has a reduced container image size. Such results are achieved with a help of PGO technology;
  • .NET 6 Preview 1 version stands out for its increased startup and throughput performance. The performance improvement happens due to the integration of ready to run version bubbles and modern vector instructions by default;
  • Microsoft is also planning to enable large page support with ready-to-run composite images.

Enhanced CLI experience

Developers promise major CLI (command-line interface) improvements. .NET decided to adopt the System. CommandLine libraries and include response files and Directives. Developers also included math APIs and libraries into the new version and provided finer support for Windows ACLs (access control lists) too. The .NET thread pool was also redesigned to build up portability. If Microsoft continues focusing on enhancing portability strategy, at some point they’ll probably grant access to applications to use the shared thread pool.

Apple Silicon support

Microsoft has started to work on Apple Silicon support. It’s currently at the very early stage, so developers who tested a new version have been complaining about major bugs. Although this release included bothARM64 and x64 builds and according to the company implementing these has been a major effort. Thus, ARM64 versions won’t be available for earlier versions of .NET. Apple helped Microsoft with Apple Silicon implementation.

.NET 6 release date is November 2021. Interesting that .NET 5.0 release happened around the same time last year. It looks like Microsoft is not only improving the overall .NET programming experience but providing consistent updates to their users.
Microsoft has also announced that they tested .NET 6 Preview 1 on Visual Studio 16.9 Preview 4 for Windows and Visual Studio for Mac 8.9. We encourage you to pay attention to these configurations if you want to test a new version yourself.

If you need any assistance with updating your app to the newest version, feel free to contact us.