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The .NET platform turns 20

The .NET platform is already 20 years old. Indeed, two decades have passed since Visual Studio .NET was released on February 14, 2002, marking the release of the first version of the .NET platform. From then until now, the platform has evolved and its adoption has expanded to such a level that it is currently estimated to be used by around five million developers worldwide.

In addition, between 2019 and 2021 it has been the preferred development environment for programmers, according to a Stack Overflow survey. And .NET repositories are among the 30 fastest developing open source projects on GitHub as of 2017. Community contributions have also had a direct impact on performance, resulting in the .NET platform earning the .NET platform for several years. highest performance score on TechEmpower benchmarks.

The .NET developer community has built hundreds of thousands of packages on NuGet so far, and there are thousands of components and tools available from ecosystem partners. Its learning is also in a good moment, with hundreds of user groups from all over the world that are in charge of helping groups of developers from different parts of the planet to learn .NET.

Unlike what happened with the development languages ​​born before the Internet, focused on the development of independent applications, and with problems for communication with others, the arrival and rise of the Internet changed the conception of development languages ​​and environments. It moved on to distributed systems that communicate over the Internet. In this change of approach, .NET was born not only to facilitate the interconnection between applications and systems, but also to facilitate the interconnection between the developers themselves. Thus, the platform encompasses several languages, a development environment and a set of libraries and APIs that are all compatible with each other.

The .NET platform has not remained unchanged since its inception. Quite the contrary. .NET, with its community of developers, has continued to innovate and evolve. Thus, when Microsoft decided to advance in the field of open source, the platform and its community were at the forefront. By 2012, the ASP .NET Model-view Controller (MVC) web framework was fully open source, accepting contributions. This was one of Microsoft’s first large open source projects.

In 2014, Redmond began cross-platform and open source development on GitHub, receiving very strong support from the open source community. Microsoft released its first version at the Red Hat DevNation conference in 2016, where it demoed it running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Because the platform is not only for Windows. Microsoft has developed strong partnerships with companies like Red Hat and IBM to bring .NET to RHEL, IBM Z, and IBM LinuxONE. In addition, they have other distributions, both enterprise-level and community-developed.

Looking to the future with .NET 6 and 7

From Microsoft they do not stop in the development of the platform. In fact, although just four months since the company introduced .NET 6, in Novemberand are already at full capacity in the development of .NET 7. So much so that its first test version, .NET 7 Preview 1, will be released in a few days.

Until its definitive version arrives, .NET 6 allows the use of a unified set of base libraries and software development package (SDK). In addition, .NET 6, the fastest adopted version to date, also offers a simplified development experience, with minimal APIs, C# 10, or hot reloading.

On the other hand, the company points out that soon it will have ready to launch the .NET Multiplatform App user interface (.NET MAUI), with which it will be possible to develop native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android with a single code base. Of course, for now they are focused on improving its quality and eliminating the bugs it may have.

The .NET platform has had a very long history in these first 20 years, but it still maintains its original vision: to make developers’ jobs easier and their lives better. Both in its first versions and with the current ones, it allows the development of any type of app, for any operating system, and to do so with great performance. All without forgetting the role of the community in its progress and development.

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