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.NET 5 and Windows 10 20H2 drop out of support

Fire the update engines if you haven't already

Microsoft has pulled the plug on support for .NET 5 and the Pro and Home versions of Windows 10 20H2.

.NET 5 is not to be confused with the venerable .NET Framework, which will linger on until its parent OS breathes its last.

.NET Framework 3.51 SP1, for example, will carry on until the beginning of 2029 – over 20 years since it first emerged.

Microsoft is keen to move on from such lengthy support periods, so .NET 5 endured a mere 18 months since it came out at the end of 2020. The cross-platform development stack was announced at the company's last in-person Build event, in 2019, and ditched the original "Core" suffix of previous versions as it made the leap from version 3.1 to 5.

The previous version, .NET Core 3.1, remains in support until the end of the year, as it is designated an LTS release. The follow-up, .NET 6, is also an LTS release and so should be good to November 2024, three years after it was first released.

Dubbed "the future of .NET," .NET 5 represented an attempt by Microsoft to unify .NET into a single platform.

The company has since folded Xamarin Forms into .NET MAUI, for which it emitted a Release Candidate in April 2022.

It is now past time to make the jump to .NET 6.

Also encouraged to walk into the light of supported releases are users of Windows 10 20H2. At the beginning of 2022, Windows 10 20H2 (released in the latter half of 2020) accounted for more than a quarter of Windows 10 and 11 PCs, according to figures from AdDuplex. Even as recently as February, the OS was at near parity with Microsoft's latest and greatest, Windows 11.

While usage has dwindled (now down to 6.1 per cent), a significant chunk of users remain on 20H2. However, the time has come (for Home and Pro users at least) to take heed of Microsoft's pleas to upgrade. As of May 10, there will be no more security or quality updates. Education, Enterprise, and IoT Enterprise users have another year of support, ending in May 2023.

Windows 10 20H2 represented a shift from the four-digit naming conventions of old while .NET 5 was the basis of a grand plan to win back developer love.

As of May 10, both have reached the end of the line. ®

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