Introduction to .NET Releases And Updates

Introduction to .NET Releases and Updates

Last Updated on November 12, 2023 by Aram

As a .NET Developer, you need to be aware of the .NET releases and updates that are happening.

Part of it is to stay up-to-date and educate yourself with all the new features and updates on this widely popular framework.

As well, you need to understand when a release is no longer supported, or an update is crucial for a security or stability reason.

For the past few years, Microsoft has been releasing more frequent updates on .NET, each November there is an announcement of a major update.

In addition to that, there are quarterly preview releases for the prospected new major version, as well as minor and security enhancements on currently supported releases.

Keep reading this article to learn more about the .NET Releases and Updates.

Below are the topics that will be covered:

  • Release Types
  • Release Cycle
  • Release Lifetime
  • .NET Releases and Updates
  • Preview Releases
  • End of Life (EOL)
  • Servicing Updates
  • Maintenance Updates
  • .NET Standard

Release Types

Long-term Support (LTS)

  • The release receives updates and patches for 36 months (3 years).
  • Even Numbered releases are considered LTS (.NET 6, .NET 8…etc.).
  • LTS releases are usually meant to provide stable and solid updates on the framework.
  • Due to the long support duration, LTS releases are recommended to build stable products.

Standard-term Support (STS)

  • The STS release receives updates and patches for 18 months (1.5 Years).
  • Odd Numbered releases are STS (.NET 5, .NET 7…etc.).
  • Due to its shorter support duration, It is recommended to use STS release when trying out the latest features.

Release Cycle

  • Starting .NET Core 3.1, the new release is announced each year in November.
  • Every other release is considered LTS.
  • After each major release, the previous STS release is only supported for six months.

Release Lifetime

  • Soon after officially announcing a new release in November, the work for the next release takes place.
  • After working on a set of features and updates, Microsoft announces a Preview release.
  • A release preview is not official but fully accessible via the preview channel for the community to test out the new features and updates.
  • Usually, during the 12 months period, several release previews are announced.
  • Collectively, after gathering all the feedback from the community on the previews, Microsoft will have a release candidate.
  • After that Microsoft will officially .NET major release that includes all the confirmed features from the year’s preview releases.

.NET Releases and Updates

Ever since the release of .NET Core, the releases are following the Modern Lifecycle Policy.

This policy implies providing support and updates with a short support duration and frequent releases.

With the previous versions of .NET, which includes the .NET framework, the releases followed a Fixed Lifecycle Policy.

Fixed lifecycle policy has fixed and longer durations (10 years), 5 years mainstream support and another 5 years for extended support.

Below are some highlights on the .NET releases:

  • .NET 8 is the upcoming LTS release.
  • .NET 8 is currently under RC-2 Preview released in October-2023
  • .NET 7 is the latest major release of .NET with a Standard Term Support (STS) until May, 2024.
  • .NET 6 is a Long Term Support (LTS) release and will remain supported until November, 2024.

More updates on .NET:

  • All previous versions of .NET Core starting from 1 until 5 are no longer receiving updates or support.
  • .NET Frameworks 4.6.1 and below are no longer supported.
  • .NET Framework 4.6.2 is supported until Jan, 2027.
  • .NET Frameworks 4.7 up until 4.8 will remain supported until further notice.

Preview Releases

These are the early access releases that come before the official release of the major version.

Preview releases are mostly monthly releases, intended for developers and engineers to test and review new features that are being developed.

It is not recommended and even not supported to deploy a product using the preview release to production.

End of Life (EOL)

  • EOL or End of Support (EOF), means that a release will no longer receive updates, fixes or support by Microsoft.
  • You need to be aware of the releases that have reached EOL and the releases that their EOL is approaching.
  • Prior to EOL, you need to start preparing to migrate your current implementation to a newer version that is under LTS or STS.
  • Working with an EOL release is risky for your data and applications.

Servicing Updates

  • These are meant to ‘patch’ the current major releases with fixes that are either related to security and/or general bug fixes.
  • Normally, these updates are shipped on a monthly basis.
  • It is recommended that developers run these updates to avoid problems with security, stability.

Maintenance Support

  • The last 6 months of each release, LTS or STS, is the maintenance support window.
  • The release will only receive critical security updates during that period.
  • Following to that, the release will no longer be supported (EOL).

.NET Standard

  • Is a list of APIs to support code sharing across different versions of .NET Core and .NET Framework.
  • Latest version released of .NET Standard is 2.1.
  • There will be no further releases of .NET Standard.
  • .NET Standard might still be required for libraries are used by different .NET implementations for code sharing purposes.


You can always read more about the latest releases and updates through the official channels by Microsoft.

To read more about the .NET releases as well as the different update policies, you can check the below articles:

.NET Learning Resources

As part of my learning journey I always try to assign some time to write and share content with anyone who is interested to learn.

Please feel free to connect with me LinkedIn, I do regularly share content mainly in .NET and C#.

Also you can always read any of my tutorials in this blog, here are some examples:


The .NET world is rapidly growing with frequent updates and enhancements.

As a .NET developer or architect, you always need to be aware of these enhancements, this will give you the edge of being in the know of everything happening and will happen, which will make you standout.

Don’t stay behind, always assign some time to learn new features so you can catch up with the rapid pace of the .NET releases and updates.


I am always open to discuss any protentional opportunities and collaborations.

Check this page to learn more about how we can benefit each other.

Sponsorships and Collaborations


Enjoy the beautiful tunes of strings with this baroque masterpiece:

Arcangelo Corelli ~ Concerto Grosso No. 1 in D major

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