Microsoft announces .NET 8 Preview 1, available to download today

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Today, Microsoft has announced that the first preview of its next long-term support (LTS) release of the .NET platform, .NET 8, is available to download for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Preview and release candidate builds for the new version will be delivered monthly and the final release will arrive in November at .NET Conf 2023.

There will be a large swathe of features and upgrades that will come as a part of this new version, but the announcement post goes into general detail of a few of the upcoming changes and additions, and Preview 1 includes some of these to try today, such as:

  • Native Ahead-of-Time (AOT) - The first of these features were shipped with .NET 7 last year, however there will be more refinements to this platform, with it coming to macOS for the first time, as part of .NET 8. The main focus of the .NET team is to refine some fundamentals such as size, an example being a "Hello, World" app that has been published with Native AOT being half the size when using .NET 8 Preview 1 in comparison to .NET 7.
  • .NET Container images - Preview 1 includes improvements to how container images can be used for .NET applications, including updating the default Linux distro to Debian 12 (Bookworm). It also includes a tagging change (using 8.0-preview and not 8.0 which will start with Release Candidates), and the ability for container images to be non-root user capable.

Jeremy Likness, the Principal Program Manager for .NET, wraps up the post saying that ".NET 8 Preview 1 is a testament to the power of collaboration between a diverse team of engineers at Microsoft and a highly engaged open source community."

You can download the first preview of .NET 8.0 here, and find more details on the release notes as they happen on GitHub.

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