The first Beta for the next generation of .NET Framework is now available as a public download. On May 18, 2009, Microsoft released the Beta bits of .NET Framework 4.0 to MSDN subscribers, and indicated that the public would only have to wait a couple of days. The Redmond company lived up to its promise and on May 20 .NET Framework 4.0 Beta 1 went live on the Microsoft Download Center where it is currently up for grabs for developers. .NET Framework 4.0 Beta 1 is designed to work in parallel with Framework version 3.5 SP1, and support applications leveraging older releases of the framework due to a subset of functionality that is shared across all versions.
.NET Framework 4.0 Beta 1 is designed to integrate seamlessly with a range of operating systems, including Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Vista SP1 and SP2, Windows Server 2008 and SP2, Windows 7 RC, Windows Server 2008 R2 RC. In this context, developers will be able to leverage the evolution of the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), not tailored to Windows 7, and to specific features and functionality as the next iteration of Windows' multi-touch, ribbon controls, and Superbar.
At the same time, .NET Framework 4.0 Beta 1 comes with WPF support for Surface 2.0 SDK. Microsoft additionally informed that the successor of .NET Framework 3.5 boosted performance and scalability, while delivering visual enhancements. There are also new line-of-business controls available in the release. Microsoft enumerated additional aspects of the evolution of .NET Framework, including: “improvements to Windows Workflow (WF) that let developers to better host and interact with workflows. Improvements to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) such as support for WCF Workflow Services enabling workflow programs with messaging activities, correlation support, durable two-way communication and rich hosting capabilities. Innovative new parallel programming features such as parallel loop support, Task Parallel Library (TPL), Parallel LINQ (PLINQ), and coordination data structures which let developers harness the power of multi-core processors.”
.NET Framework 4.0 Beta 1 is available for download here.