Evolution of C# (1.0 – 5.0) – What are the New Features Introduced in C#

C# is not new to us. We are using it since Visual Studio 2002. Currently it is in released version 4.0 and C# 5.0 is on the way to release with Visual Studio 2012. Though we are using it since a long time, but many of us don’t know the new features that has been introduced in each new release.


This post will cover the “Evolution of C#” from version 1.0 to version 5.0 along with the new features and respective Visual Studio version. Bookmark this post for future reference and share it to your network and help others to know.


C# 1.0

Microsoft released the first version of C# with Visual Studio 2002. Use of Managed Code was introduced with this version. C# 1.0 was the first language that developer adopted to build .NET applications.


C# 2.0

Microsoft released the second version of C# language with Visual Studio 2005. C# 2.0 has three new features introduced in this edition which helped the developers to code their applications in more generic way. Here are the new features that was introduced with C# 2.0:

    1. Generics
    2. Anonymous Methods
    3. Nullable Type
    4. Partial Class
    5. Covariance and Contra-variance

C# 3.0

Visual Studio 2008 came with C# version 3.0 and it has a bunch of new features. It was the life changing language for Microsoft platform developers to build their applications. Till now, many developers are still using this version to build their apps. Here are the new features that came with C# 3.0:

    1. Lambda Expression
    2. Extension Method
    3. Expression Tree
    4. Anonymous Types
    5. LINQ
    6. Implicit Type (var)

C# 4.0

Though C# 4.0 was released with Visual Studio 2010 with .NET Framework 4, but very few developers uses it’s new features till date. Keep in mind that, it is the latest release version. Here is a list of new features of C# that came with this version:

    1. Late Binding
    2. Named Arguments
    3. Optional Parameters
    4. More COM Support

C# 5.0

Visual Studio 2012 is coming up with C# 5.0 and it will be available within next few months in 2012. The release candidate (RC) version is available for you to try out the new features. Here are two new features that is coming up with C# 5.0:

    1. Async Feature
    2. Caller Information

Infographic of C# Evolution

Here is the infographic of “Evolution of C#” and the new features introduced in different releases of C# and Visual Studio IDE, which you can bookmark for your future reference:


Evolution of C# (1.0 – 5.0)


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  1. very nice .....

  2. I think partial types in C#2 and partial methods in C#3 are notable as well

  3. You forgot the co and contra-variance feature (e.g. in/out) decliaration in interfaces (e.g. used in IEnumerable<>).

    Best regards,

  4. Thank you for mentioning. I updated the post as well as the Infographic with the most important key features in all the version of C#

    Thanks & Regards,
    Kunal Chowdhury

  5. I had thought Covariance and Contra-variance came in C# 4.0?

  6. C# 4.0 introduced the parallel api i.e. the Task Parallel API. C# 5.0 async feature is built on top of the task parallel api.

  7. Thanks Pawan for sharing the information.

  8. Nice ! But covariance/contra-variance appeared in version 4.0

  9. Hi, as best of my knowledge, covariance and contra variance were introduced in C# 2.0 but the generic type of them were introduced in C# 4.0.

  10. Just one question what are the advantages we got related to Generics in ver. 2,3, & 4.

  11. Thank you sir.. Good to read this.

  12. Nice one, thanks.

  13. Wonderful..i'm an intermediate so it's very much helpful for me to clear my interviews as i have faced many questions regarding this but couldn't answer but now i'm ready to answer..thank u once again..can u please briefly describe this feature or give a link..and one more thing can u tell me tuple in c# also got introduced in c# 4.0 so is it a specification under any feature of c# 4.0 or it's a stand alone feature.

  14. very very thanks brother... very useful

  15. Very good Article. It would be better to update the article.

  16. Sorry Kunal, Wrongly spelt as Anil

  17. Very Nice Article..Thank you.

  18. In Which C# Version the Null Coalescing Operator is introduced?

  19. Usefull Information..Better update with new versions of C#..


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