Update on the GDR that is coming for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
As I've you've probably heard, we are working on an update for .NET3.5 SP1 and its 2.0/3.0 sub-components which will contain fixes for the small number of bugs reported by customers since the release of 3.5 SP1 this summer. More information regarding the specific bug fixes included in the update will be provided in a knowledge base article that will be released with this update, although at the end of September I blogged about this upcoming "GDR" (General Distribution Release) update to .NET 3.5 SP1 and listed the bugs I've been able to confirm so far as being fixed.
In that post I said:
"Later this year, probably November-ish, the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 will begin show up on Windows Update in a rolling and throttled fashion so that all machines that have .NET 2.0 or higher will be automatically upgraded to 3.5 SP1."
Turns out I was wrong on this, and the update will be available for download from the web in November, and will be up on Windows Update in January. There's a number of reasons for this but the primary one is that customers in general prefer not having any updates during the holidays (IT staff that needs to handle enterprise wide deployments are on vacation, etc) there is no non-security “refresh” for the fourth Tuesday in December, so the next earliest possible release date for our .NET Framework update on WU (Windows Update) is going to be early in into the next year (tentatively a Tuesday in January). As you might suspect the potential audience for such updates on Windows Update (WU) is very large (the vast majority of 1 billion windows PCs worldwide) so we err on the side of caution.
Once testing is complete and we’re ready to release the update, the release schedule needs to snap to a predetermined release cadence for updates shipping on WU. In general Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month and non-security updates such as this one on the fourth Tuesday of every month. We release on a cadence because large enterprise customers need a predictable schedule for all updates so they can in turn plan their own enterprise wide deployments for updates once we release this.
The extended testing process and release cadence takes time but the processes are designed to ensure we provide a broad and diverse set of customers with a high quality update combined with a smooth deployment experience.
Once this is released to Windows Update, you'll be much more likely to find 3.5 SP1 installed on the majority of the 1 billion or so Windows PC worldwide. It'll be nice to have a common baseline for developers to target. Remember also that WU is automatic and unattended, so the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 will just show up on machines one day (of course Enterprises have additional controls over deployment). All this should make it easier for us developers to figure out which framework to target.
I hope this post gives you some more information and context on what's going on with this update. It takes a while to dig all this up and bring it to you, so I hope it provides you some value. Spread the word.