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Microsoft has released preview 7 of its .NET 6 developer platform and reported that the new features are ‘done.’ The news comes ahead of an expected arrival in November for this long-term support version.

The current version, .NET 5.0 is only supported to May 2022, whereas .NET 6.0 will have support for three years. Three years is not long. However, Microsoft believes it to be within the parameters of the modern lifecycle.

The new iteration will be the first long-term support (LTS) version of the .NET platform and the intended replacement for the .NET Framework (now considered ‘legacy’) and .NET Core.

Other news for devs

The preview was accompanied by other developer-centric news announcing preview 3 for Visual Studio 2022, .NET MAUI (Multi-platform APP UI) preview 7 (a replacement of Xamarin for cross-platform mobile projects), and ASP.NET Core updates.

The principal program manager for the .NET project, Richard Lander, said that .NET 6.0 will include preview features that are not supported for production. Why? Because Microsoft tends to confuse people when it comes to some of its releases.

Lander said that for .NET 6, the team built the capability to mark APIs ad ‘in preview,’ meaning they are opt-in, using an EnablePreviewFeatures project property and a reference to System.Runtime.Experimental.

Features in preview

For the preview, users will get static abstract interface members (operators included), which Lander called the most important new type system capability since Span<T>. Find more detail here under ‘Generic Math.’

The feature enables a requested feature in .NET that allows the interfacing of simultaneously abstract and static members.

Other welcome features include good news for Linux users. ZipFile class now captures and accepts Unix file permissions. Meanwhile, Visual Studio has an update with a preview of the upcoming Visual Studio 2022, adding a dark theme, a new project properties designer, and more.