.NET Core 3 Will Support Windows Desktop Applications

Posted on May 7, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Windows 10 with 19 Comments

.NET Core 3 Will Support Windows Desktop Applications

Microsoft announced today that .NET Core 3 Will support Windows desktop applications via a set of add-on packs. The firm expects to ship these releases in 2019.

“We are planning on releasing a first preview of .NET Core 3 later this year and the final version in 2019,” a post to Microsoft’s .NET Blog notes. “The highlight of .NET Core 3 is support for Windows desktop applications, specifically Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Framework (WPF), and UWP XAML.”

If you’re familiar with .NET Core, you know that this platform was designed to create an open and cross-platform version of the .NET Framework, which was Windows-only. The addition of Windows desktop application support doesn’t change this mission. But it does expand the scope of .NET Core to include key workloads that today still require the deprecated .NET Framework.

“Support for Windows desktop will be added as a set of ‘Windows Desktop Packs’, which will only work on Windows,” the software giant notes. “.NET Core isn’t changing architecturally with this new version. We’ll continue to offer a great cross-platform product, focused on the cloud.”

Today, .NET Core for the desktop will offer performance improvements, easy testing of new .NET Core versions, machine-global and application-local deployment support, and support for the .NET Core CLI tools and SDK-style projects in Visual Studio. But with version 3, the feature-set is improving dramatically, with access to the full Windows 10 (WinRT) API set, the ability to host UWP XAML controls in WPF and Windows Forms applications, and the ability to host UWP browser and media controls.

“Today’s news demonstrates a large investment and commitment in Windows desktop applications,” Microsoft claims.

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Comments (27)

27 responses to “.NET Core 3 Will Support Windows Desktop Applications”

  1. skane2600

    So basically with extra steps you can do with .NET Core 3 what you can already do "out of the box" with .NET "regular" (as long as you're not in S mode, in which case you can't use desktop programs with either version).

  2. RM

    I think they are allowing you to write a .NET app for most OS's using VS, .NET Core, and use UWP controls. Basically they are removing more and more of the walls between .NET and UWP. It will be interesting to see If they evolve it into just one development environment with few caveats for the developer.

    • skane2600

      In reply to RM:

      But this newest change applies only to Windows, so it doesn't have anything to do with supporting multiple OS's. In a way it's kind of an odd development for a what was supposed to be a cross-platform technology.


      I guess if they drop development and support for .NET "normal" it's good that there's a replacement that is backwards compatible, but the same could have been achieved by just staying the course at a much cheaper cost.

  3. mrdrwest

    I win!


    Nothing else to add.

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