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Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5

Microsoft's .NET support system gets faster, more powerful, and now supports Windows 7's multi-touch

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server
Requirements:

850MB hard drive space

Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 17 August 2012
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 81477
Developer: Microsoft
RSS News Feed: http://blogs.msdn.com/bclteam/rss.xml
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/MSDN
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.NET Framework 4.5
Run the latest .NET programs

The .NET Framework is a set of software tools that provides everything you need to run programs developed using Microsoft's .NET technology. This includes runtime engines, memory management tools, support for ASP.NET applications, and a whole lot more.

Programs written with Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010 products (which are already available in beta versions) will require the .NET Framework version 4, which is packed with new features.

One major improvement comes in the addition of Parallel Extensions. This makes it easier for programmers to create multiple loops that are all running at the same time, so taking better advantage of multicore processors and making a real difference to application performance.

Updates to the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) add many useful interface features, including support for Windows 7 multi-touch, ribbon controls and taskbar extensibility.

And smaller underlying tweaks enhance the clarity of text, and deliver more efficient memory management, as well as providing a host of performance and scalability improvements across the board.

The .NET Framework 4 can be installed alongside earlier Framework versions. The good news is that means it won't break older applications, as they'll continue to use previous Framework versions as normal. The bad news is these older apps won't benefit from the new features, either - a program needs to be specifically written for .NET Framework 4 to take advantage of it.

Verdict:

A solid step forward for Microsoft .NET

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Unreal Engine 4.8

Free Full Commercial Software

Unreal Engine is Epic Games' game engine, a powerful suite of tools for developing anything from basic 2D games to professional RPGs, first person shooters and whatever else you like.

Wide standards support - DirectX, OpenGL, JavaScript/ WebGL - means your projects can be targeted to almost any platform: consoles, iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, Linux, HTML5 browsers and more.

There's a vast amount to learn, of course, and that's even before you start building your game. But there's plenty of documentation, tutorials, demos and sample projects to point you in the right direction.

The package is now entirely free, too - no annoying limitations, nag screens or anything else. Epic now only requires that you pay a 5% royalty after the first $3,000 of revenue per product per quarter. And even then, you "pay no royalty for film projects, contracting and consulting projects such as architecture, simulation and visualization."

8.48 brings:
    - Optimized grass rendering and procedural foliage system preview
    - Plugins available in Marketplace
    - Improved accuracy for motion blur
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    - Support for all the latest VR hardware including Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Steam VR and HTC Vive, Leap Motion, and Sony's Project Morpheus for PlayStation 4
    - "Scrubbable" network replays with rewind support and live time scrubbing
    - Visualize the memory footprint of game assets in an interactive tree map UI

[...]
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Free
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