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Announcing Open Source of WPF, Windows Forms, and WinUI at Microsoft Connect(); 2018

Written By published December 4, 2018

At Build 2018, I outlined our approach to helping you be more productive when developing apps, including the introduction of .NET Core 3.0. We also started decoupling many parts of the Windows development platform, so you can adopt technologies incrementally. Today at Microsoft Connect(); 2018 Conference we shared the next steps – specifically to support innovations in UI:

  1. .NET Core 3.0 Preview 1 adds support for building client apps using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Forms, and XAML Islands.
  2. WPF, Windows Forms, and Windows UI XAML Library (WinUI) are now open source, so you can create experiences with the freedom you want.

.NET Core 3.0 Preview 1 available

As Scott Guthrie announced today, the first preview of .NET Core 3.0 is available. This version of .NET adds support for building Windows desktop apps using WPF and Windows Forms. You will now be able to:

  • Run multiple instances of .NET Core 3.0 side-by-side on the same computer so you can update WPF and Windows Forms apps to a new version of .NET without updating the entire OS.
  • Use modern controls and Fluent styling from the WinUI XAML Library via XAML Islands from .NET Core 3.0 apps.

Read about .NET Core 3.0 Preview 1, try out the preview, and give us feedback. The next version of the .NET Framework, .NET Framework 4.8, will include new controls that use the latest browser and media players in Windows 10, support the latest standards, and WPF and Windows Forms apps will have access to WinUI via XAML Islands for modern look and touch support. The .NET Team blog details the differences and compatibility between .NET Core and .NET Framework moving forward.

WPF, Windows Forms, and WinUI ready for your contributions

This journey is our continued commitment to creating the development platform with you, through open source. Our three, popular Windows UX frameworks are ready for your contributions on GitHub: WPF, Windows Forms, and WinUI. Open sourcing these technologies provides transparency between the product team and the community, helps democratize Windows development, and enables the community to engage and contribute to these repos.

We look forward to your contributions. You can get started with Windows Forms and WinUI now. WPF is starting with System.Xaml, with more to come over the following months.