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Reviewing the .NET Core Roadmap

Following the recent release of .NET Core 1.0, Microsoft's Scott Hunter has provided new guidance on Microsoft's near-term plans for the open source and multi-platform project.  This announcement sets expectations for what is in store for users of the project and when they can expect new features to be available. 

First up is a release scheduled for next month (August 2016) that should address some performance concerns exposed in the 1.0 release, bug fixes, and updated support for F# templates to use the latest builds of F# on .NET Core.  To put the size of this release in perspective, Hunter labels this as a patch.

Conversely, the next release is described by Hunter as an update.  This is scheduled to appear either in the fourth quarter of 2016 or first quarter of 2017.  This update will feature the project’s switch from .xproj / project.json files to .csproj / MSBuild files.  Users of Visual Studio will simply need to reopen their solution in Visual Studio to convert their projects over to the new format.  For developers using .NET Core outside of Visual Studio, a separate command-line tool will be provided according to a Microsoft spokesperson.  The .NET Core tooling will be released in a condition deemed “quality” / “stable” in this same time period.

.NET Core will see the inclusion of the latest versions of C# (version 7) and Visual Basic (version 15), matching the versions offered on the traditional .NET Framework.  Joining these will be full .NET Core support for F# 4.1.  An interesting addition to the .NET Core runtime is mentioned support for ARM 32-bit and 64-bit.  A follow-up comment by Microsoft’s Rich Lander indicates exact timing for releasing ARM32 support has not been set, but it is planned for .NET Core to support the Raspberry Pi under Windows IoT and Linux.

 Looking ahead to the end of first quarter 2017 and into second quarter 2017, the next release of .NET Core will be adding several “missing” APIs.  According to Hunter this will include APIs that handle “networking, serialization, data, and more.”  The intent is for this release of .NET Core to meet the requirements of .NET Standard 2.0, so that APIs will be consistent across the three major families of .NET:  .NET Framework, .NET Core and Xamarin.  VB.NET for .NET Core is being developed according to Lander, but a release date is not available.  

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