WinUI 3.0 Preview 3 is Now Available

Posted on November 17, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Dev with 9 Comments

Microsoft announced today that the third preview of WinUI 3.0, its new user interface technology, is now available.

“Preview 3 has a similar installation and setup process to Preview 2, but requires an updated version of Visual Studio (16.9), which will automatically download the latest .NET 5 for you as well, if you are interested in building Desktop apps,” Microsoft’s Ana Wishnoff says of the release.

New in Preview 3 are ARM64 support, drag and drop inside and outside of apps, an improved developer experience with Hot Reload and IntelliSense support, Modern Resource Technology (MRT) Core support, custom cursor support, and off-thread input APIs.

As you may recall, Microsoft last year divided its Windows application development efforts into three layers—a UI layer, an API layer, and an app model—and WinUI 3 is the umbrella term for the first of those. One of the points of WinUI 3 is that it should work everywhere—with different application models like Win32, Windows Forms, and so on—and be updated separately from Windows 10 itself, solving the versioning problems caused by previous UI models.

The final release of WinUI 3 is now expected sometime in 2021. By that time, it will support additional features including .NET 5 for UWP apps, XAML Islands support, Windows 10X compatibility, UWP app title bar customization, Reveal Highlight and Acrylic, and more.

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