Internet Explorer (IE) looks set to disappear from our PCs soon .NET 4.5.2, 4.6 and 4.6.1 fall out of support on 26 April. So we should just rip out IE and .NET from our machines, right?
Not so fast. First of all, you may have an application that relies on an older version of IE or .NET; it may not be wise to remove them – especially if you are still using Windows 7. Or you can wait for updates from important vendors. Case in point: I recently received an email from a major vendor saying yes provide software updates remove dependence on IE. The vendor is going so far as to provide updates on older software releases dating back to 2017. (The software is released annually and, therefore, updates are required to use older versions.)
But Microsoft is not depreciating or removing the Trident engine, which provides support for software including forms.webbrowser and iemode. In fact, the Trident engine will be supported until 2029 and is already owned by Microsoft provide support for Webview2 to Chromium and Trident engines. (If you are suddenly wondering why Webview2 was installed on your computer, you probably have a Microsoft 365 application installed.) These days, I strongly recommend having multiple browsers installed on your computer; use one for general surfing (with the highest restrictions and privacy plugin) and a backup browser with secure default settings that you can use for any websites that refuse to work with your settings.
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Remember what the .NET framework is? It is the original .NET implementation and provides a framework for developers to code with (and deliver the software you use regularly).
As Microsoft notes, it provides “a consistent, object-oriented programming environment, whether the object code is stored and executed locally, executed locally but distributed over the Internet , or remotely executed. It provides a code-execution environment that minimizes software deployment and version conflicts. Finally, it provides a code execution environment that promotes secure code execution, including code created by an unknown or semi-trusted third party.
In short, it is one of those building blocks that developers use to create the software that we all use.
To be honest, .NET has always been a bit confusing. For many years, I was cringe every time a .NET update came out, as it would cause havoc with many of my line-of-business apps. QuickBooks Intuit, for example, would add the specific .NET it needed or complain when you did not have .NET 3.5 installed. Fortunately, .NET has better behavior; I haven’t had to rip out and reinstall .NET in years. (Too bad Windows can’t learn some of the same lessons.)
Let’s determine which version of .NET you have. Open a simple command line and type in dir% windir% Microsoft.NET Framework / AD. On a normal Windows 10 engine, you will see a screen indicating that you have .NET 1, 2, 2, 3.5 and 4. However, this does not mean that it is time to get rid of those old versions. (In fact, you probably do not have all those old .NET versions installed, which means your .NET is backwards compatible.) You should also be aware that there are new .NET releases that do not use “ Framework ”and“ Core ”in their name.
Another way to view the .NET version you have installed is to review the registry key located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft NET Framework Setup NDP v4 Full. If the Full subkey is missing, then .NET Framework 4.5 or higher is not installed.
If you have the “Full” subkey key, browse to it and compare the number on the right hand side next to the release in parentheses and then compare it to the chart on this page. On my Windows 10 21H2 machine, I have .NET framework version 528372 – which suggests that I have a .NET 4.8 framework that still has support and patch.
You will also want to make sure that .NET is getting security updates. You may not understand it, but you may have never enabled your Windows setting – or rather, Microsoft Update – to detect that you have .NET installed. If you go to Settings, then Update and Security, then Windows Update, then Advanced options, be sure to check, “Get updates for other Microsoft products when updating Windows.” If you do not have this box checked, your system may not receive updates to newer .NET platforms installed by apps.
If you find that .NET 4.5.2, 4.6 and 4.6.1 are installed on your computer, you may have a business line application that still relies on that version. Do you remember which one submitted it? Based on this CC, your application should work fine if you install .NET 4.8. But I still recommend contacting the seller to confirm when you install Creat .NET 4.8 the application will still work.
Still confused? You are not alone. I have often found that it is difficult to understand what .NET releases are shipped with the versions of Windows 10. It is quite difficult for developers to keep up with them, let alone end users. I hope one finds a better and easier way to know what’s in our systems and how best to get what’s right and wrong should not be. I will keep you informed.
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What to do about IE and .NET?
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