With Patch Tuesday Comes .NET Framework 4.5.2
The .NET Framework update will include debugging and tracing capabilities in this round and will be automatically delivered to those using Windows Server Update Services.
Microsoft will release .NET Framework 4.5.2 on "patch Tuesday" next week. The framework, along with Language Packs, will come down through Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) on Jan. 13, 2015, according to a Microsoft blog post earlier this week. The update will include improved debugging and tracing capabilities, among other enhancements.
The framework is needed to support the .NET development environment and it runs on various client and server Windows operating systems. The list of supported OSes includes Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Vista SP2, plus Windows Server 2012/2012 R2, Windows Server 2008 SP2/2008 R2 SP1. Also supported are Windows RT and Windows 8.1 RT, but those OSes will get .NET Framework 4.5.2 via Microsoft's Automatic Update service instead of WSUS.
IT pros can block the delivery of .NET Framework 4.5.2 via WSUS by editing registry settings. That process is described in this Microsoft Knowledge Base article. Microsoft has admitted in an August blog post that the .NET Framework 4.5.2 release does include some changes that can break the functioning of some applications, although only if those applications get recompiled.
Microsoft's server products should be tested on this framework before getting turned on in a production environment, Microsoft warned in its August blog post. However, Microsoft also claimed that .NET Framework 4.5.2 should be compatible with past .NET Framework 4.x releases. It's considered to be an "in-place" upgrade to past .NET Framework 4.x releases, so IT pros don't need to uninstall the previous versions.
On top of the current .NET Framework 4.5.2 release, Microsoft offers a preview version of .NET Framework 4.6, which was released back in November. The .NET Framework 4.6 preview is also considered to be an in-place upgrade to previous .NET Framework 4.x installations. A resource for sorting through the nuances of .NET Framework 4.5 capabilities, as well as those of the .NET Framework 4.6 preview, can be found at this MSDN library page.
Microsoft is wrapping the .NET Framework 4.6 preview as "a new era" for the platform in 2015. The preview version includes the open source .NET Core 5, for instance, which will extend the .NET Framework to other operating system platforms besides Windows, such as Linux and Mac. Microsoft has also announced a new free version of Visual Studio alongside the open source .NET Core 5.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.