Microsoft Open Sources WPF, WinForms, and WinUI

Posted on December 4, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Dev with 19 Comments

Yes, WPF has been around for a while

As part of today’s Connect(); virtual event for developers, Microsoft announced that it will open source its Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Forms, and Windows UI XAML Library technologies.

This is an interesting development. But I don’t believe it will result in these technologies making their way to other platforms. Instead, it appears that Microsoft is offering a mea culpa, of sorts, for ignoring WPF and WinForms, in particular, and trying to force developers to move to more recent and Windows 10-specific efforts like the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).

“Developers can now participate with Microsoft’s client UX technology in a much more interactive way,” Microsoft explained to me before the event. “They’ll be able to contribute a new feature back to the framework, debug and fix issues that impact their apps, build a private copy of the UI stack, as well as report bugs and other issues.”

As part of this effort, Microsoft will move the development of Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Forms, and Windows UI XAML Library to GitHub as well. This, it says, will “provide a greater degree of transparency between the product team and the community, help democratize Windows development, and encourage more developers to build for Windows.”

Windows Forms and the Windows UI XAML Library will be open sourced today, on December 4, 2018. Windows Presentation Foundation will take a bit longer: Microsoft says it will open source some WPF components immediately and will then work to bring the rest of it over in “the following months.”

In related news, the .NET Core 3.0 Preview was also announced and made available today, and this will support building client apps using WPF, Windows Forms, and XAML Islands. Though .NET Core is cross-platform, these features will only work on Windows, of course.


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