There is an extensive history of .NET. Over the years it has evolved considerably and had many iterations, including new sub versions and primary versions developed. Though there is some history prior to the official framework release in 2002, we will focus on the core areas for development now involving mobile and desktop.

The .NET framework has been evolving to support various technologies. This was all intended to allow diverse and customizable development capabilities for specific needs. Windows Forms, Windows Store, Entity framework and the widely known ASP.NET are all different technologies in what they do.

Microsoft addressed this by developing different application stacks. This meant that the fragmented versions on the .NET Framework had different teams maintaining them. This brought about key aspects in the evolution of .NET for handling both mobile and desktop.

Handling Desktop Development

The stacks mentioned above all follow a structure common across them all. They each have a Runtime, a Framework and importantly an App Model. Desktop applications as you can guess were being developed long before any .NET mobile applications, developers were using languages like COBOL, Fortran, C++ and even VB6.

The internet transformed everything. Desktop applications could be rapidly deployed with a simplified process for distribution, and applications could directly serve updates automatically across the network. Utilizing Microsoft’s Visual Studio, the .NET framework and any of its stacks can be easily implemented into projects.

Since 2002 desktop has always been the go to for application development. However, it lacked the capability to run on other platforms. Since Apple’s OS and other mobile OS were starting to rise Microsoft announced a new .NET Core. This wasn’t announced until 2014 and the official release was only in 2016.

The .NET Core

Desktop apps saw continuous development with Microsoft offering Win32 in 1995, its UWP platform in 2016 and still now in the present day. In the middle of all that there was considerable development in 2008 when the App Store hit the scene. Mobile apps became the new big thing and identifying the potential, Microsoft began working on .NET Core.

Microsoft’s .NET Core wasn’t released until June 2016. You might argue they were delayed on it, since mobile app downloads had been scaling exponentially. But the release of .NET Core and ASP.NET produced a significant impact on the mobile app world.

Developers could now create robust and reliable backend services for native mobile apps. This offered mobile apps an improved power, being able to communicate with ASP.NET Core backend services with integrated functionality.

Evolution of .NET

The .Net Framework has evolved to handle mobile and desktop applications extremely well. It currently processes over 7 million requests per second, whilst upholding performance across every connected application.

It has gone from a single OS piece of proprietary software, to powerful cross-platform open-source software that has seen many contributions from the community. It gave mobiles and desktops the power to communicate across the network more efficiently, and leverage backend processing. Which on small devices like mobiles increased their popularity even more, and on desktops gave them even better functionality.

Microsoft’s .NET is still used widely today. At Axis Software Dynamics, we have evolved to handle mobile and desktop applications as well. Contact us and discuss how we can support your business today!