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Clarify on .NET 3.0(formerly WinFX) with Timeframe and Language Version

June 18th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

I am one of VB Insiders and I got some clarify news from VB Product Group, I also feel confuse when WinFX is confirm to be .NET Framework 3.0. Many VB Insiders are also having the same feeling, finally VB Product Group tell us something and this is not able to be search from public area. After reading it, I feel better. After confirm, I know that I could be able to blog about this and I cannot wait to be share with you all. Here is the content,



This is indeed a confusing topic., and there really isn’t much out there to clarify. Here’s a tabular view of what’s is coming down the pipe, and when. Highlighted items ship together.

Product/Deliverable Timeframe Language Ver. CLR Ver.
.NET FX 2.0 Nov 2005 VB 8.0/C# 2.0 2.0
VS 2005 Nov 2005 VB 8.0/C# 2.0 2.0
FX 3.0 (Formerly WinFX; Includes Avalon, Indigo, Workflow) Windows Vista RTM (2006) VB 8.0/C# 2.0 2.0
Visual Studio “Orcas” 2007 VB 9.0/C# 3.0 2.0
FX 3.5 (LINQ) 2007 VB 9.0/C# 3.0 2.0


Here’s some information on what each version includes:

  • FX 2.0: Includes CLR 2.0 generics, etc. Shipped with VS 2005; not much to say here.
  • FX 3.0 = FX 2.0 + WPF (Avalon), WCF (Indigo), WF (Workflow). In other words, FX 3.0 is a set of assemblies that has been added to FX 2.0; it  only includes service pack-level fixes to existing (FX 2.0) assemblies or the existing languages (VB 8.0). FX 3.0 is installed by default on Windows Vista (and is therefore bound to the Vista RTM date), and available for download on down-level platforms. There currently is not a supported version of Visual Studio that targets FX 3.0, however; you can download extensions to VS 2005 that provides some rudimentary support for FX 3.0 at
  • FX 3.5 = FX 3.0 + LINQ. Basically, you can think of FX 3.5 as the new compilers, tools, and assemblies required to support LINQ. Again, FX 3.5 includes new assemblies (e.g., System.Query.dll) and service-pack-level fixes to existing assemblies. FX 3.5 will ship with VS “Orcas”.


An important thing to note about the above versions of the FX is that they all run on CLR 2.0, which shipped in 2005. Unlike previous versions of VS, VS “Orcas” will include the ability to build applications that target each of the above framework versions FX 2.0, FX 3.0, and FX 3.5.You’ll have the ability to specify what framework version the project should target when a project is created, opened for the first time in VS Orcas, and via the property pages. Once a framework version is selected, references, IntelliSense, Object Browser, the Toolbox, etc will be modified such that references that aren’t available in the chosen target are filtered (grayed out, generally).Some common questions,

  • Will I be able to open my 2005 project in VS “Orcas” without upgrading it to FX 3.5? Yes. Users will have the option to upgrade the project’s framework target the first time they open it in VS “Orcas”; however, upgrading will not be required
  • Will I be able to open my 2005 project in VS “Orcas” then re-open it in VS 2005? No. Once a project has been opened in VS “Orcas”, it cannot be subsequently opened in 2005.
  • Will I be able to use LINQ in my FX 2.0 project? No. LINQ requires assemblies that are only available in FX 3.5 projects.
  • If I already have FX 2.0 installed and my app requires FX 3.0, what do I need to install when I deploy my app? Because FX 3.0 is just an add-on pack of sorts for FX 3.0, you’ll only need to install the 3.0 Runtime Components, which have FX 2.0 as a pre-requisite.


Admittedly, this whole framework versioning scheme is pretty confusing, so we’re trying to make the related user experience in VS opt-in: by default you’ll target the latest and greatest version of the FX 3.5 when you create a project and most of this will be transparent. If you do need to target an earlier version, the option will be available. We’ll certainly be interested in your feedback on the model when the first VS “Orcas” CTP is released. Fire away with any questions or rants, I’ll do my best to clarify.


Posted in Introductions, Visual Studio, Windows Vista | 3 Comments »

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 18th, 2006 at 11:43 pm and is filed under Introductions, Visual Studio, Windows Vista. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses

  1. Andre Nogueira Says:


    I notice that VB 9 and C# 3 will run on .Net Framework 2.0… but how is that possible, given the new features they are going to have? Or will these new features be “translated” into something that CLR 2.0 can understand and run?


  2. kenlin@HK [MVP] Says:

    As I think, you can see that actually WinFX is some add-on install to your .NET Framework 2.0(CLR2.0). So I think that it will be packaging as add-on when C#3/VB9 is released.

    Do you found that C#3/VB9 beta is running on VS2005?

  3. Wyatt Wong Says:

    I agreed with Andre Nogueira about how VB9 and C#3.0 can run on CLR 2.0 ? Isn’t there a CLR 3.0 that will be shipped with \