Microsoft’s .Net Core 2.0, an upgrade to the company’s open source, cross-platform implementation of .Net, is becoming available today. The new release includes improvements intended to make .Net Core easier to use. It also conforms to the .Net Standard 2.0 specification designed to facilitate code sharing among .Net Framework, .Net Core, and Xamarin.

The .Net Core framework can be used to build web applications and services that run on Windows, MacOS, or Linux. Ease of use improvements in .Net Core 2.0 include making the dotnet restore command (used to install project dependencies and other tasks) implicit for commands like run, build, and publish that require it.

Version 2.0 also introduces an opt-in mode providing basic globalization functionality, for localized user interfaces and regional data, across operating systems and languages. The .Net Core 2.0 runtime features profile-guided optimization, used by the C++ compiler to generate faster running code on Windows x86 and Linux x64 platforms. You can download .Net Core at this website.

The .Net Standard specification is an attempt to unify .Net and prevent fragmentation. It provides a specification that every .Net implementation has to support, enabling code-sharing across .Net variants including .Net Framework, .Net Core, Xamarin, Unity, and the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). (Support in UWP is due later this year.) Version 2.0 of the .Net Standard more than doubles the number of available APIs, bringing the total to 32,000. The additions make it easier to port existing code from one .Net implementation to another. 

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