Build2018: WinForms and .NET Core 3 announcement

Yesterday, both as part of the general Microsoft Build announcements and a blog post from the .NET team, there was a fairly momentous announcement about the proposed .NET Core 3.

In brief, among a bunch of other features, .NET Core 3 will also come with “Desktop packs” for Windows development. These packs will target individual run-times, the main ones being WinForms and WPF, and, unlike .NET Core, will only work on Windows. However, instead of using the full .NET Framework, they will instead use .NET Core. I heartily recommend going to read that blog post for more details.

What I want to do here is to quickly address a couple of questions that you, our customers, may have.

First: this is just an announcement at this particular stage. The first beta release for this is slated for later on in the year, in the autumn, with a possible release of the finished framework in 2019.

Second: we do not have any bits from the .NET team as yet; we heard about this at exactly the same time as everyone else. At this stage, we really cannot comment on how much work would be required to ‘port’ our current set of WinForms and WPF controls over to these new Desktop packs. (I’m reminded as to how long it took Microsoft to get a semi-workable System.Drawing in ASP.NET Core so that we could finally add some kind of export facility.) Or even, to be brutally honest, whether it will be advantageous for us to do so. Remember that the Desktop packs will only work on Windows, this is not a universal panacea to create, say, Mac apps using WinForms.

Third: another part of the announcement was adding the ability for UWP controls to work in a WinForms or WPF app. Again, we can’t profitably promise anything about this until we have the beta.

So, in summary, we’re intrigued, we’ll wait until we have a workable beta, and then experiment and make our decisions. Stay tuned!

8 comment(s)

As far as I understood the next Core release will not support Win7 / 8 / 8.1...

So it will only work on Windows 10.

8 May, 2018

@Mikhain Sure, that was expected. But being able to benefit from the side by side deployment of different runtimes (we are now in update 4? of .net framework alone in win10) is worth the effort, in my opinion :)

8 May, 2018

I completely agree with Manuel. I didn't expect WinForms or WPF to run on Mac or Linux, but I do think that it will be a great thing if Microsoft makes the move. I would prefer just one framework and .NET Core is moving much faster than "legacy" .NET.

9 May, 2018

I think the main purpose of this step is that they would like to retire the whole .net framework.

9 May, 2018

Mikhail Shubin, Scott Hunter stated several times during Build that while dropping support for Windows 7 in .NET Core 3.0 was a remote possibility, they currently know of no reason to do so. I'm pretty certain with all the feedback they are getting that they will feel pressure to keep it on Windows 7.

9 May, 2018

Istvan, they made the point during Build that the .NET Framework will continue to gain improvements from now on, at the same careful compatibility pace that they've always had. .NET Framework 4.8 is on the roadmap for a release in a year.

They also pointed out that the .NET Framework cannot be retired because Windows itself has a plethora of dependencies on it. Richard Campbell commented that Windows even still ships the VB6 runtime, so it doesn't look likely that .NET Framework is going to be retired.

9 May, 2018

For those who are interested, here is the announcement being made:  youtu.be/KAIJ3ezQb3c

channel9.msdn.com/.../Past-Present-and-Future-of-DotNET is also informative, and there are other segments which are not up for on-demand viewing (yet?).

9 May, 2018

Julian,

Funny coincidence, I was about to email you guys asking if you were making any plans regarding this announcement. But I decided to take a gander and see if you had made any blog posts and sure enough, you did.

I'm glad to see you put out a statement so quickly.  I'm not disappointed either, since you are being honest, but you do sound somewhat optimistic.   I'll stay tuned to see what happens.

On a semi related note, I'm also hoping you'll have DevExtreme and/or the ASP.NET controls for Blazor (if it becomes an official framework). But again, I'll be patient and will not hold my breath.

10 May, 2018

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