Microsoft: Managing .NET Core updates is about to get easier

Organizations can opt-in to receive automatic .NET Core updates via Microsoft Update starting this month.

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.NET Core updates are coming to Microsoft Update.

Image: Gorodenkoff Productions OU, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Microsoft's business customers will soon be able to opt-in to receive .NET Core runtime updates via the Microsoft update service.

The change will allow organizations to manage .NET Framework and .NET Core updates in the same way they do other Microsoft-related products via the company's automated update service.

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Traditionally, .NET Core updates have had to be installed separately, which Microsoft explained was due to problems in the past with older .NET Framework updates installing in place of – rather than side-by-side with – earlier versions, which could break apps.

"Prior to .NET Core 3.0, each update for .NET Core installed side-by-side with previous updates. This resulted in computers having many versions of .NET Core updates installed even though only the latest one was being used…but these computers still incurred the disk footprint due to multiple installations," explained Jamshed Damkewala, principle engineering manager of Microsoft .NET.

Going forward, .NET Core applications will run on the latest servicing update by default, Microsoft said. "That means your .NET Core applications will run on the latest servicing version of .NET Core 3.1, for example, after it has been installed on your machine by Microsoft Update," said Damkewala.

"The same is true if you are not using Microsoft Update, however, you need to install that update manually."

Updates for NET Core 2.1, .NET Core 3.1 and .NET 5.0 will be available on Microsoft Update. These will target the .NET Core SDK, .NET Core Runtime, ASP.NET Core Runtime, and the .NET Core Desktop Runtime installers deployed either independently or as part of another application.

Updates to .NET Core will always be distinct from .NET Framework and will be available on Microsoft Update (MU) and not Windows Update (WU), due to the way that each of the services are distinguished by Microsoft.

Damkewala explained: ".NET Core is an independent product, unlike the .NET Framework which is a component of the Windows operating system. Windows Update is reserved for updates to the OS, while Microsoft Update is for other products like .NET Core, Visual Studio, and so on."

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