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Lifecycle FAQ—.NET Framework


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NOTE: This FAQ was updated on April 25, 2019. 
  

What is the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy for the .NET Framework?

Beginning with version 4.5.2 and later, .NET Framework is defined as a component of the Windows operating system (OS). Components receive the same support as their parent products, therefore, .NET Framework 4.5.2 and later follows the lifecycle policy of the underlying Windows OS on which it is installed.  

Support for .NET Framework 4, 4.5, and 4.5.1 ended on January 12, 2016. Customers and developers must have completed the in-place update to .NET Framework 4.5.2 by January 12, 2016 to continue receiving technical support and security updates.

.NET Framework 3.5 SP1, beginning with Windows 10 version 1809 and Windows Server 2019, is a standalone product and receives 5 years of mainstream support followed by 5 years of extended support. For operating systems released prior to Windows 10 version 1809 and Windows Server 2019, .NET 3.5 SP1 remains a component of the Windows version on which it is installed.

Future Windows releases will not affect the lifecycle of .NET 3.5 SP1. For a list of supported operating systems for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 refer to the .NET Framework system requirements.

There is no change to the lifecycle policy for .NET Framework 4.x and its updates which continue to be defined as a component of the OS and assume the same lifecycle policy as the Windows version on which it is installed.

What is a component?

A component is defined as a set of files or features that are included with a Microsoft product. Components may be shipped with the product included in a product service pack or update or released at a later date as a web download.

Will I need to recompile/rebuild my applications to use .NET Framework 4.5.2 and later versions?

.NET Framework 4.5.2 and later versions are compatible, in-place updates on top of .NET Framework 4, 4.5, or 4.5.1. This means we expect applications built on previous .NET 4.x versions to continue running on .NET Framework 4.5.2 and later versions. Recompiling of apps to target these versions is not necessary.

Are there any breaking changes in .NET Framework 4.5.2? Why do you include these changes?

There are a very small number of changes/fixes in .NET Framework 4.5.2 and later versions that are not fully compatible with earlier .NET versions. Such fixes are included only when necessary in the interests of security, comply with industry-wide standards, or to correct a previous incompatibility. A list of breaking changes in the runtime can be found here.

Additionally, there are several fixes included in these versions that will only be enabled if you choose to recompile your application against them. These types of changes are called retargeting changes. A list of retargeting changes for .NET Framework 4.5.2 and later versions can be found here.

The .NET Framework is also middleware in other Microsoft products such as Exchange Server, SQL Server, Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, and Lync. Do I need to make any updates to these products if they are using .NET 4, 4.5, or 4.5.1?

Newer versions of products such as Exchange, SQL Server, Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, and Lync are based on the .NET Framework 4 or .NET Framework 4.5. The .NET Framework 4.5.2 and later versions are compatible, in-place updates on top of the .NET Framework 4, 4.5, and 4.5.1. This means that an application, such as Exchange, built using the .NET Framework 4 or 4.5 will continue to run without any changes when the .NET runtime is updated from .NET Framework 4, 4.5, or 4.5.1 to later versions. That said we recommend customers validate their deployments by updating the .NET runtime to .NET 4.5.2 or later in a pre-production environment first before rolling out a newer version in the production environment.

When I installed Visual Studio, it installed a version of the .NET Framework. Does this mean the version of the .NET Framework that was included with Visual Studio takes the Lifecycle Policy of Visual Studio?

No. Versions of the .NET Framework that shipped with host products other than Microsoft Windows shipped with Microsoft Software Supplemental License Terms for Windows. This means that the component is considered part of the Windows operating system.

What is the Lifecycle Policy for different versions of the .NET Framework?
.NET Framework 1.1 SP1: The .NET Framework 1.0 was supported at the latest service pack level (SP1) under a single product lifecycle policy until October 8, 2013. The .NET Framework 1.1 SP1 was supported on Windows Server 2003 (32-bit only, not 64-bit) at the latest service pack level until July 14, 2015.

.NET Framework versions 2.0, 3.0, and 3.5: These versions are supported under a single product lifecycle policy. For the respective end of support dates, see this site. Knowledge base article 2696944 explains that where .NET Framework 3.5 relies on 2.0 or 3.0 to operate, Microsoft will provide support for the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and .NET Framework 3.0 SP2 components for customers who install the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 for as long as the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 remains in support.

.NET Framework 3.5 SP1: .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 is supported on Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2016 according to the end of support date for each operating system.
 

Starting with Windows 10 version 1809 and Windows Server 2019, .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 is defined as a standalone product and no longer as a component of the operating system (OS). As a product, .NET 3.5 SP1 will receive 5 years of mainstream support followed by 5 years of extended support starting with the General Availability of Windows 10 version 1809 and Windows Server 2019 on October 2, 2018. Go here to see end dates for this product.

On operating systems prior to Windows 10 version 1809 and Windows Server 2019, .NET 3.5 SP1 assumes the same lifecycle policy as the underlying OS on which it is installed. For a list of supported operating systems for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 refer to the .NET Framework system requirements.

.NET Framework 4: .NET Framework 4 did not ship in any operating system. Support for the .NET Framework 4 on Windows Server 2003 SP2 ended on July 14, 2015, and support on all other operating systems ended on January 12, 2016.

.NET Framework 4.5: .NET Framework 4.5 shipped both in Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and as a stand-alone redistributable package. Support for .NET Framework 4.5 on all operating systems ended on January 12, 2016.

.NET Framework 4.5.1: Support for .NET Framework 4.5.1 on all operating systems ended on January 12, 2016.

.NET Framework 4.5.2: Support for .NET 4.5.2 follows the lifecycle policy of the parent OS. It is supported as a Windows component on the latest required operating system update for Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

.NET Framework 4.6: Support for .NET 4.6 follows the Lifecycle Policy of the parent OS. It is supported as a Windows component on the latest required operating system update for Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows 10.

.NET Framework 4.6.1: Support for .NET 4.6.1 follows the Lifecycle Policy of the parent OS. It is supported as a Windows component on the latest required operating system update for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows 10. 
 

.NET Framework 4.6.2: Support for .NET 4.6.2 follows the Lifecycle Policy of the parent OS. It is supported as a Windows component on the latest required operating system update for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 10 (Version 1507), and Windows 10 (Version 1511). .NET 4.6.2 is also supported on Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Version 1607) and Windows Server 2016 operating systems.

.NET Framework 4.7: Support for .NET 4.7 follows the Lifecycle Policy of the parent OS. It is supported as a Windows component on the latest required operating system update for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Version 1607), Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016. .NET 4.7 is also supported on the Windows 10 Creators Update (Version 1703). 

.NET Framework 4.7.1: Support for .NET 4.7.1 follows the Lifecycle Policy of the parent OS. It is supported as a Windows component on the latest required operating system update for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Version 1607), Windows 10 Creators Update (Version 1703), Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016. .NET 4.7.1 is also supported on the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (Version 1709) and Windows Server Version 1709.

.NET Framework 4.7.2: Support for .NET 4.7.2 follows the Lifecycle Policy of the parent OS. It is supported as a Windows component on the latest required operating system update for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows 10 version 1607, Windows 10 version 1703, Windows 10 version 1709, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server version 1709. .NET 4.7.2 is also supported on Windows 10 version 1803, Windows 10 version 1809, Windows Server version 1803, and Windows Server 2019. 

.NET Framework 4.8: Support for .NET 4.8 follows the Lifecycle Policy of the parent OS. It is supported as a Windows component on the latest required update for the operating systems below. We recommend customers upgrade to .NET Framework 4.8 to receive the highest level of performance, reliability, and security.

.NET Framework 4.8 supported OS
Client Server

Windows 7 SP1
Windows 8.1 Update
Windows 10 version 1607, Windows 10 version 1703, Windows 10 version 1709, Windows 10 version 1803, Windows 10 version 1809, Windows 10 version 1903

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Windows Server 2012/R2

Windows Server 2016
Windows Server version 1803

Windows Server 2019

Windows Server version 1903

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Keywords: Lifecycle, .net framework, .net framework 4.5.2, .net framework 3.5, .net framework component, .net framework 4.8, .net framework 4.7.2, .net framework 4.7.1, .net framework 4.7, .net framework 4.6, .net framework 4.6.1, .net framework 4.6.2

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Article Info
Article ID : 17455
Revision : 67
Created on : 4/25/2019
Published on : 4/26/2019
Exists online : False
Views : 42