Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.1

The software giant's programming model that enables compatibility and incredible graphics

  • Category:

    Necessary Components

  • Version:

    4.7.1

  • Works under:

    Windows 10 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    6.7 (136)

The Microsoft dot-NET framework is a collection of different files that makes it possible to run programs written in the languages involved. This version of the framework is intended for both average end users and for developers. It does not include most of the core development tools like the various dot-NET compilers, so these tools must be downloaded through the separate software development kit. The Microsoft dot-NET framework is very easy to install. A custom installer from Microsoft takes care of the entire process, including finding the latest version and registering the components with the Windows operating system.

The main component in the Microsoft dot-NET framework is called the Common Language Runtime (CLR). This program is executed whenever a dot-NET application is run. The purpose of the runtime is to act as an interpreter. Normal dot-NET applications are compiled into an intermediary language known as bytecode, which is not machine language. It cannot be executed directly by hardware like an operating system or typical standalone application. The bytecode needs to be interpreted and executed within a software environment to run. The Microsoft dot-NET framework provides this environment so that bytecode can be executed on any system that contains the runtime.

The large majority of the Microsoft dot-NET framework is dedicated to the supporting libraries and programming interfaces. One of the reasons Microsoft dot-NET is a popular language is because it comes with an extensive standard library of different components. The library allows programmers to do everything from sending output to the screen and managing files to maintaining network connections. This can all be done through the libraries without having to generate boilerplate code every time. The drawback is that the entire library needs to be installed on every computer attempting to run a dot-NET program, which is why the framework is necessary.

It is usually a good idea to install the latest version of the Microsoft dot-NET framework whenever a new update becomes available. Fortunately, the automatic update feature in Windows will do this when major versions are released. Not installing the framework could cause certain programs to not run or to crash due to errors. Part of this is because not all developers include the actual framework and files with a program when it is distributed. Keeping the framework installed and updated will ensure any dot-NET applications run as soon as they are installed.

An issue to be aware of is that not all dot-NET programs are backwards compatible. This means that it might be necessary to keep older versions of the framework on a computer to run certain applications. Installing the Microsoft dot-NET framework will not have any immediate effect on a computer system. The runtime is only really useful when there is a dot-NET program to execute. The reality is that the Microsoft dot-NET framework is something necessary for all Windows systems due to the popularity and accessibility of the programming libraries.

Pros

  • Run dot-NET applications
  • Automatic updates are available

Cons

  • Not all programs are backwards compatible
  • Downloading the framework can take some time

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