Microsoft updates Visual Studio and .NET previews – but .NET 5.0 now out of support

Microsoft has given .NET and Visual Studio developers a host of new releases and previews, including .NET 7 preview 4 and Visual Studio 2022 17.2.

The company also reminded developers that  .NET 5.0 has received its last update, 5.0.17, and is now out of  support. .NET releases alternate between Long Term Support (LTS) and Current, with Current versions only supported for 18 months.

.NET 7.0 will also be a Current Release and is scheduled for November 2022. Just out is Preview 4, including new APIs working with .tar archives and new observability and performance features. The System.Formats.Tar assembly simplifies both archiving and extracting archives in .tar format, including those that are zip compressed. Tar originally stood for Tape Archive and is commonly used, especially on Linux.

A new JIT (just in time) compiler feature called On Stack Replacement speeds application start-up by doing a quick compile initially and more optimized compiles while the application is running. Start-up time is claimed to improve by 10-30%, and methods with loops are better optimized.

ASP.NET in the .NET 7 preview has faster HTTP/2 performance, and more work on minimal APIs – which reduce dependencies by including only minimum files and features. Improvements to the SignalR real-time communication framework mean that the server can invoke a client method and receive a result, where before it could only invoke the method.

Visual Studio 2022 17.2 is now generally available. It includes refactoring to convert C# string literals into raw string literals, in C# 11 projects. Raw string literals allow typing of code such as HTML or XML snippets as-is, by surrounding them with special delimiters.

The Razor editor – for ASP.NET pages and templates – has new support for collapsing regions, code snippets, and a fixed shortcut for wrapping selected text in a div. There is also publish support for Azure Container Apps, which scale dynamically based on traffic, processing, CPU or memory load, or other factors, based on the KEDA (Event Driven Autoscaling) project sponsored by Microsoft and Red Hat.

The Visual Studio Installer for the latest preview

Microsoft has also released Visual Studio 2022 17.3 Preview 1, providing tooling support for .NET MAUI (Multi-Platform App Development), the company’s big hope for cross-platform GUI applications using .NET. The MAUI project itself is now at Release Candidate 3 with go-live support for production use and a bunch of new features.

Some developers keen to try the updates to Visual Studio experienced frustration when the installer stuck on “checking for updates” on Wednesday. Evidence suggests that Microsoft’s European blog storage was having problems, the fix being to tinker with the DNS.