Windows has a large number of sets of libraries necessary for the entire system to function properly. In the case of games, for example, it uses DirectX, and to compile and that the programs can work without problems it depends on the familiar .NET Framework . These libraries are constantly evolving to offer new features to developers that, in turn, translate into improvements for end users. But, as with any other software, make sure you are using an up-to-date, supported version. Otherwise, we may have problems.
.NET Framework is a set of libraries and components provided by Microsoft so that developers can meet their needs when programming and compiling programs. Thanks to them, these developers have simple and very complete development environments. Furthermore, when a vulnerability appears in one of these libraries, solving it is as simple as recompiling the program using the new version of the libraries.
Although it is normal for the latest version of .NET to be backward compatible with all versions, in practice this does not work very well, and many users have several versions of this component installed so that the programs can function normally. This often makes us forget about the installed components, and if we are not careful, we can end up using insecure, vulnerable software, as is the case with these versions.
Versions of the .NET Framework that will be out of support very soon
A few hours ago, one of the engineers responsible for the development of these libraries reminded the programmers, and incidentally, the users, that some versions of these libraries are going to be out of support very soon. These versions are, specifically, 4.5.2, 4.6 and 4.6.1 . All of them will reach the end of support together in one year, on April 26, 2022 . From then on, these versions of .NET will no longer receive all kinds of support and maintenance, including security updates, putting those who still use them at risk.
The only version that will not be affected by this end of support is the .NET Framework 4.6 that was included in the Windows 10 LTSC of 2015, which will be supported until 2025, the same as the version of the operating system.
The reason Microsoft is withdrawing support for these versions is because they are signed with a SHA-1 algorithm, and given its weaknesses, Microsoft is going to make the leap to SHA-2 starting next month . Therefore, the company has to do away with everything that still uses the old certificates (code signing, hashing, TLS certificates, etc.), making these libraries die.
Microsoft insists developers on the importance of updating their programs to a .NET Framework version equal to or higher than 4.6.2. Version 4.6.2, released 5 years ago, and 4.8, released two years ago, are the most installed on Windows 10 systems, so there will be no users who have problems using programs compiled with them.
Install the latest version of .NET
The .NET Framework libraries are automatically updated through Windows Update . Windows 10 users should have the latest versions installed, with their corresponding patches, just for the fact that the computer is updated. These new versions of the libraries allow us to be sure and, in addition, guarantee backward compatibility with programs that use old versions of them.
If we want to make sure, we can also update the .NET Framework by hand, downloading the new versions and installing them on the PC.
The future of these libraries, the .NET 5 version, is already in the testing phase. And by the end of the year we will all be able to install it on our PCs to benefit from the best it offers, which are not few.