What’s new in Microsoft .NET 6

Following more than a year of development effort by the .NET team, Microsoft has published a production release of its .NET 6 software development platform.

Published November 8, .NET 6 can be downloaded from dotnet.microsoft.com. Billed as the final step in a .NET unification vision, .NET 6 offers “massive” gains in performance as well as native support for Apple Silicon and improved support for Arm64, a bulletin on the production release said.

Microsoft .NET 6 also features C# 10, with capabilities to make code faster and more expressive; F# 6, with performance, ease of use, and uniformity improvements; a dynamic, profile-guided optimization system that delivers optimizations only possible at runtime; and improved cloud diagnostics via the dotnet-monitor tool and support for the OpenTelemetry standard for observability telemetry.

Support for WebAssembly also has been improved, and APIs added for HTTP/3, JSON processing, mathematics, and direct memory manipulation. .NET 6 will be supported for three years. Developers already have started upgrading applications to it, Microsoft said.

A bulletin on RC2 cites planned .NET 6 capabilities including C# 10, which offers a further evolution of new features such as records and patterns. Also featured for C# 10 are global using directives and file-scoped namespaces, which help developers simplify code and write less boilerplate. C# 10 also supports record structs, similar to C# 9 (class-based) records, but with differences such as record structs being added for completeness so structs can have the same record benefits as classes. Another feature in C# 10, file-scoped namespace declarations, is intended to reduce indentation and line count.

.NET 6 saw two release candidates and seven preview releases. Other new capabilities noted in an October 12 bulletin for the second release candidate included:

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