Microsoft kicks off .NET 9

Microsoft’s upcoming .NET 9 release, a planned major update to the company’s cross-platform development platform, will focus on the development of cloud-native and AI-powered applications, the company said in a bulletin on February 13.

For cloud-native developers, Microsoft will aim at improving runtime performance, application monitoring, and delivering “paved paths” to popular production infrastructure and services. The latter refers to running Kubernetes and using managed database and caching services such as Redis. These improvements will be delivered as multiple layers of the .NET stack. These capabilities come together with .NET Aspire, Microsoft said, which aims to reduce the cost and complexity of building cloud applications. Alongside .NET 9, Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code will add new development and deployment experiences for .NET Aspire.

Microsoft said .NET 9 also will make it easier for .NET developers to integrate AI into applications. Steps were taken in this direction in .NET 8, which brought samples and documentation for AI workloads, C# clients for vector databases, and libraries such as Semantic Kernel. With .NET 9, Microsoft said developers will find libraries and documentation to work with OpenAI and open-source models, along with the .NET team’s continued collaboration on Semantic Kernel, OpenAI, and Azure SDK to ensure .NET developers have a “first-class experience” building intelligent applications.

Preview 1 of .NET 9 arrived this week. A production release of .NET 9 is due in November, roughly a year after the current .NET 8 arrived. Microsoft will support .NET 9 for 18 months.

In addition to .NET 9 Preview 1, Microsoft released .NET Aspire Preview 3, which features UI improvements to the dashboard and new component support including Azure OpenAI, Apache Kakfa, Oracle, MySQL, Azure Cosmos DB, and Orleans, Microsoft’s framework for building distributed applications.

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