Microsoft makes Visual Studio 2022 and .NET 6 generally available

It's a big week for developers using Microsoft's Visual Studio and .NET platforms.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

On November 8, Microsoft made generally available to users worldwide its latest versions of Visual Studio and .NET. Users can download Visual Studio 2022 and .NET 6 starting today.

Visual Studio 2022 is the first release of a 64-bit version of Visual Studio. By making Visual Studio 64-bit, officials said that they expect the release to better use all system resources, especially when working with more complex solutions over longer periods. According to Microsoft, during early VS 2022 testing, customers were able to run the VS IDE for days, even with solutions containing 700 or more projects.  

Visual Studio 2022 also includes a number of edits and debug improvements. It also provides Hot Reload, which allows developers to edit their source code while their apps are running in Visual Studio 2022 and from the .NET CLI. , It also has Live Preview capabilities and cross-platform testing on Linux, among other new and improved features. Visual Studio 2022 is available for immediate download. The release notes for Visual Studio 2022 v.17 are here.

.NET 6 is available for Windows, Linux and macOS. It provides a unified platform across cloud, desktop, IoT and mobile apps by using the same .NET libraries and the ability to share code across platforms easily, officials said. This release has performance improvements, especially around file I/O. 

This is the first .NET release that natively supports Apple Arm64 Silicon and supports Windows Arm64, as well. This release includes rebuilt ahead-of-time compiler tools and many new APIs. The .NET 6 release includes C# 10 and F# 6. The .NET 6 release is a Long-Term Support (LTS) version of .NET, meaning it will be supported for three years.

In 2019, Microsoft announced that .NET 5 would be its first major deliverable on the road toward unifying .NET, but .NET 6 is where more of the magic will happen.  Microsoft will have completed the unification of the Mono runtime into Core, have one set of base libraries for all workloads and deliver one SDK project system across a number of operating systems and device targets with .NET 6. However, .NET MAUI won't be ready at that point; Microsoft now is targeting early Q2 2022 for the GA of .NET MAUI

Microsoft's virtual Visual Studio 2022 launch event is today. This week, the .NET Conf virtual event runs from November 9 to 11. 

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