Announcing .NET Core 3.1 Preview 2

Rich Lander [MSFT]

Today, we’re announcing .NET Core 3.1 Preview 2. .NET Core 3.1 will be a small and short release focused on key improvements in Blazor and Windows desktop, the two big additions in .NET Core 3.0.. It will be a long term support (LTS) release with an expected final ship date of December 2019.

You can download .NET Core 3.1 Preview 2 on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

ASP.NET Core and EF Core are also releasing updates today.

Visual Studio 16.4 Preview 3 and Visual Studio for Mac 8.4 Preview 3 are also releasing today. They are required updates to use .NET Core 3.1 Preview 2. Visual Studio 16.4 includes .NET Core 3.1, so just updating Visual Studio will give you both releases.



The biggest improvement in this release is support for C++/CLI (AKA “managed C++”). C++/CLI is only enabled on Windows. The changes for C++/CLI are primarily in Visual Studio. You need to install the “Desktop development with C++” workload and the “C++/CLI support” component in order to use C++/CLI. You can see this component selected (it is the last one displayed) in the image below.

This component adds a couple templates that you can use:

  • CLR Class Library (.NET Core)
  • CLR Empty Project (.NET Core)

If you cannot find them, just search for them in the New Project dialog.


The primary goal of .NET Core 3.1 is to polish the features and scenarios we delivered in .NET Core 3.0. .NET Core 3.1 will be a long term support (LTS) release, supported for at least 3 years.

Please install and test .NET Core 3.1 Preview 2 and give us feedback. It is not yet supported or recommended for use in production.

If you missed it, check out the .NET Core 3.0 announcement from last month.