Windows 11 Support for DevExpress Controls (WinForms & WPF)

News
07 October 2021

As you already know, Microsoft Windows 11 went live this week. If you have yet to do so, you can download Microsoft’s new OS here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11 (the good news is that many Windows 10 users are eligible for a free upgrade!).

Windows 11 features numerous changes, including security updates, UX enhancements, Microsoft Edge upgrades, and more (What's new in Windows 11). In this post, we'll explore two features that directly impact desktop (WinForms/WPF) application developers.

Appearance-Related Updates

Windows 11 leverages Microsoft’s "Fluent" design paradigm. To learn more about Microsoft’s design initiative, please review the following article: Windows 11 design principles.

Among notable changes to Windows 11 is the return of rounded corners for forms, panels and dialogs.

Once you upgrade to DevExpress v21.2 (currently available as an EAP), your DevExpress-powered WinForms and WPF apps will support rounded forms within Windows 11. If using WinForms, you can toggle the static WindowsFormsSettings.AllowRoundedWindowCorners setting to manually control the appearance of form corners. For WPF, you can use the static ThemedWindow.RoundCorners setting.

And yes, we also expect to release a new Skin/Theme inspired by Windows 11/Office 2021 in the first half of 2022 (v22.1 major update). We’ll share more information in this regard later this year (our #1 priority at present is to deliver v21.2 in November).

Snap Layout and Snap Groups

Windows 11 users are able to quickly switch between multiple applications and re-arrange them across the desktop.

Hover your mouse over the maximize button in the upper right corner of a window, and Windows will suggest a few layout options for your app. Click the desired option and the app will instantly snap into position. Other apps can be added to remaining regions of the selected layout option.

Applications placed into different portions of a layout are now accessible from the Windows Taskbar as a single Snap Group — you can minimize and access the entire group without having to control each window individually (as was the case in Windows 10).

DevExpress WinForms forms are fully compatible with this new Windows 11 UI paradigm/implementation. DevExpress WPF windows currently do not support the Snap Layouts menu because of the WPF platform's architectural differences. We are working side-by-side with Microsoft to implement the Snap Layout support for WPF windows in future releases.

Application Compatibility

In 2018, Microsoft started its App Assure initiative (applications will work on Windows 10, and if they do not — Microsoft engineers will help find a solution).

Microsoft claims that application compatibility remains a core tenet of their planning and development process. According to Microsoft, this application compatibility promise applies to Windows 11. To double-check whether your application works as expected on Windows 11, please review the following official testing routine: Testing Guidelines.

Tell Us What You Think

If you’ve already moved to Windows 11 or are considering the platform for your user-base, please comment below and tell us what you think of Microsoft’s new OS — and of course tell us what you’d like to see us deliver in 2022 (to better serve your business needs as it relates to Windows 11).


10/14/2021: Added the Snap Layout feature limitation for WPF windows.

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