3 min read

.NET Core 3.0 was announced in May this year, it adds support for building desktop applications using WinForms, WPF, and Entity Framework 6. Updates to .NET Framework were also announced which enable use of new modern controls from UWP in existing WinForms and WPF applications. Now, more details are out on both of them.

.NET Core 3.0

.NET Core 3.0 addresses three scenarios asked by the .NET framework developer community.

Multiple versions of .NET on the same machine

As of now, only one version of .NET Framework can be installed on a machine. An update to the .NET Framework poses a risk of a security fix, bug fix, or new API breaking applications on the machine. Now Microsoft aims to solve this problem by allowing multiple versions of .NET Core  to reside on one machine. The applications that need to be stable can be locked to one of the stable versions then later on be moved to use the newer version as it is ready.

Embedding .NET directly into an application

Since there can only be one version of .NET Framework on a machine, to take advantage of the latest framework or language features, the newer version needs to be installed. With .NET Core, you can now ship the framework as a part of an application. This enables developers to take advantage of the new features of the latest version without having to wait for the framework to install.

Taking advantage of .NET Core features

The side-by-side nature of .NET enables introduction of new innovative APIs and Base Class Library (BCL) improvements without the risk of breaking compatibility. WinForms and WPF applications on Windows can now take advantage of the latest .NET Core features. These features include more fundamental fixes for a better high-DPI support.

.NET Framework 4.8

.NET Framework 4.8 also addresses three scenarios asked for by the .NET Framework developer community.

Modern browser and media controls

.NET desktop applications use the Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player for displaying HTML and playing media files. These legacy controls don’t show the latest HTML or play the latest media files. Hence, Microsoft is adding new controls to advantage of Microsoft Edge and newer media players thereby supporting the latest standards.

Access to touch and UWP Controls

The Universal Windows Platform (UWP) contains new controls to take advantage of the latest Windows features and the devices with touch displays. The code in your application does not have to be rewritten to use these new features and controls. Microsoft is going to make them available to WinForms and WPF enabling the developers to take advantage of these new features in the existing code of applications created.

Improvements for high DPI

The standard resolution of computer displays is steadily becoming 4K and now even 8K resolutions are available. WIth the newer versions WinForms and WPF applications will look great on these high resolution displays.

The future of .NET

.NET Framework is installed over one billion machines, hence even a security fix introducing a bug will affect a lot of devices. .NET Core is a fast-moving version of .NET. Because of its side-by-side nature it can take changes that can prove very risky in .NET Framework. Meaning, .NET Core is bound to get new APIs and language features over time that .NET Framework cannot. If your existing applications are on .NET Framework, there is no immediate need to move to .NET Core.

For more details, visit the Microsoft Blog.

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