Announcing .NET Core 3.1 Preview 3



Today, we’re announcing .NET Core 3.1 Preview 3. .NET Core 3.1 is 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. We are coming near the end of the 3.1 release and expect to release it in early December.

You can download .NET Core 3.1 Preview 3 on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

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

Visual Studio 16.4 Preview 5 and Visual Studio for Mac 8.4 Preview 2 are also releasing today. They are required updates to use .NET Core 3.1 Preview 3. Visual Studio 16.4 includes .NET Core 3.1, so just updating Visual Studio to 16.4 Preview 5 will give you the latest version of both products.


Go Live

This release is supported in production and you can call Microsoft support with issues.

The site (see version in footer) has been running .NET Core 3.1 in production since Preview 1 without issue and will be updated to Preview 3 shortly. We are confident about the quality of the release.


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.

The initial download numbers for .NET Core 3.0 are even higher than we expected. We guess that 80-90% (or even higher) of the .NET Core ecosystem will move to .NET Core 3.1 within the first 6 months of the release. We are encouraging everyone to move to the 3.1 release as soon as they can, given that it has a lot of improvements (largely via 3.0) and is the newest LTS release.

Please install and test .NET Core 3.1 Preview 3 and give us feedback.

If you missed it, check out the .NET Core 3.0 announcement from earlier this year.


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  • Nick

    Despite Windows Desktop being one of the “big additions in .Net Core 3.0” there’s still no new previews of the WinForms Designer? Is the Designer not scheduled to land until .Net 5 or something? We don’t even have a preview 0.2 yet.

  • Avatar
    Timothy Liu

    .NET Core is perfect, but it’s still not attractive enough to new developers, especially to those who believe algorithms is important than engineering. So, do we have a schedule when .NET Core SDK can have the built-in PriorityQueue 😉

  • Avatar
    John Tsombakos

    Doesn’t look like Visual Studio for Mac 8.4 Preview 5 is actually available – no updates are showing, and the page is not showing that version. Any word when it will be available?

  • Felix Rabinovich
    Felix Rabinovich

    Everything I read about .NET Core 3 makes me want to upgrade from Core 2 immediately! However, absent some significant changes from Microsoft, it will probably be years! :'( We probably have hundreds of places that EF 2 gave a warning, but EF 3 throws an exception. “Probably” because there is no way to find out, other then during runtime. And unit tests are useless as well. And I just had a conversation with another architect whose organization has exactly same problem.

    I realize, my gripe is about EF, but we are not going to upgrade the rest of .NET Core (even if it is possible) leaving EF behind. Very depressing!

    • Avatar
      Basil Thomas

      Yes…you hit the nail on the head: EF is total crap!!
      Should use something like Dapper for a very lightweight ORM especially if you are moving over to a Microservices based architecture.
      Last used EF @ version 4.2 and way too many problems in production.
      Have not looked back since and simple ORM libraries are the way to go especially if you like only use stored procedures and/or the full features available in SQL.

      I have been using .Net Core since 2.1 and will definitely be upgrading to 3.0 once they have production design tools for WinForms, WPF and WinUI in VS2019