.NET core vs .NET Framework: What’s the difference?

You might have heard about the new .NET Core and heard that it’s completely different from the .NET Framework that you’re familiar with if you’ve been using Microsoft technologies for years. But what exactly does that mean? This article will give you the breakdown of what’s different, what isn’t, and why Microsoft developed both frameworks in the first place.

What is .NET Core?

.NET Core is a cross-platform, open-source, and modular .NET platform for creating modern web apps, microservices, libraries, and console applications. Microsoft has been working on .NET Core since 2012 to run cross-platform on Windows 7 or later, macOS 10.8 or later, and Linux 2 or later.

In November 2017, Microsoft announced its intention to bring more features from .NET Framework into .NET Core to make it even more productive. Now, both frameworks are progressing forward to become one unified framework that runs everywhere. It’s worth noting that while there are some differences between them, they will still be able to work together seamlessly going forward.


  • .NET Core is open-source: The.NET Core framework is open-source software developed by Microsoft. It’s free to use and distribute under the MIT license.
  • .NET Core is cross-platform: The.NET Core platform runs across Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android.
  • .NET Core is lightweight: It’s designed to run on low-powered devices and mobile platforms.
  • .NET Core is secure: Microsoft uses security best practices to protect developers and end users.
  • .NET Core is modular: You can build applications using only parts of the.NET Core framework.
  • .NET Core is portable:  You can deploy.NET Core apps to any cloud or container environment.
  • .NET Core is extensible: You can extend the capabilities of.NET Core through extensions.

What is .NET Framework?

The.NET framework is a set of software libraries designed to help developers create applications for Windows-based operating systems. The framework includes language constructs (such as classes) and tools (such as compilers) that allow programmers to write code once and run it across different platforms.

.NET Framework is a Windows-only, proprietary framework for building traditional Windows desktop applications, web forms applications, and XML web services. It includes a common language runtime (CLR) that provides support for multiple programming languages, such as C# and Visual Basic.


  • .NET Framework is a set of software libraries designed to help application developers build applications using Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime (CLR).
  • .NET Framework provides a common language runtime environment that enables programmers to create programs that run on any platform that supports the CLR.
  • .NET Framework includes a class library, framework services, and base class library.
  • .NET Framework 4.0 is based on the Common Language Runtime version 2.0 (CLR v2.0)
  • .NET Framework 4 was released on September 30, 2008.
  • NET Framework 4 includes the following features:
  • Support for 64-bit platforms
  • Improved performance
  • New managed code capabilities
  • A new type of system
  • A new garbage collector
  • A new security model
  • An improved debugger
  • A new XML parser

Differences Between .NET core and .NET Framework ?

1. Supported Platforms: .NET core vs .NET Framework

.NET Core is a cross-platform runtime that can be used on Windows, Linux, and macOS. .NET Framework, on the other hand, is only supported on Windows. This means that if you want to develop an application that can be used on multiple operating systems, you should use .NET Core. If you need your app to run on just one operating system, then there’s no point in using .NET Core.

C# Version: C# 6 is available for both platforms but C# 7 is only available for .NET Core. In addition, C# 7 requires a more recent version of Visual Studio. Finally, it is worth noting that Xamarin supports development with .NET Core and has been able to port apps from iOS, Android, and Mac OSX to Windows 10 Mobile since 2015.

2. Learning Resources: .NET core vs .NET Framework

If you’re a web developer, you’ve probably heard of the .NET framework. But what is it, exactly? And how does it differ from its newer counterpart, .NET Core? In this post, we’ll break down the key differences between these two frameworks so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your next project. The .NET Framework was originally developed by Microsoft and was used in desktop applications and on servers. However, the latest version of the framework (v4) has not been updated since 2015, which means that it doesn’t support new features like Windows Forms or Windows Presentation Foundation.

Meanwhile, .NET Core is maintained by Microsoft as well as other contributors and supports all major operating systems including Linux and macOS. It’s also open-source, meaning that programmers can review the code before they use it. Furthermore, while some languages are only supported by either the .NET Framework or .NET Core, most are supported by both versions. For example, C# is supported by both frameworks while Python only works with .NET Core. Finally, if you want to see which features are supported on a particular platform, check out Microsoft’s Official Website for more information!

3. Comparison summary: .NET core vs .NET Framework

.NET Core is a cross-platform, open-source framework for building modern applications. It is a Windows-only, proprietary framework for building traditional Windows applications. NET Core is faster and more lightweight than the full .NET Framework, while still providing access to the vast ecosystem of .NET libraries. If you’re targeting Windows, you should use the full .NET Framework. If you’re targeting multiple platforms or want the benefits of an open-source framework, you should use .NET Core.

A quick summary of differences between the two frameworks includes their programming languages (C# with .NET Core and C# with .NET Framework), OS support (Linux, macOS, Windows with .NET Core; only Windows with .NET Framework), features (higher degree of customization with .NET Core), and language versions (.NET Standard 2.0/3.0 in one way but not both). There are also various other small differences such as what tooling is available, when it was released, etc.


If you’re wondering whether .NET Core or .NET Framework is right for your next project, it depends on what you need. If you need compatibility with Windows-only components or libraries, then .NET Framework is your best bet. But if you want a cross-platform solution that can be run on Linux or macOS, then .NET Core is the way to go.

About Alisha John

A Nature Lover and Freelance Writer! I write about daily practices for optimizing both happiness and health.

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