back to article .NET 6 preview 2: Microsoft confirms no visual designer for WinUI 3.0 at launch

Microsoft has released its second preview of .NET 6, but confirmed there will be no visual designer for WinUI 3.0 when it comes out in November this year. WinUI 3.0 is intended to be the primary official framework for Windows desktop applications. Microsoft's .NET 6 is the first long-term release of its revamped development …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Please don’t make WinUI cross platform.

  2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    "the next evolution in the Windows app development platform."

    Great. Just what we need – yet another way of doing things.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: "the next evolution in the Windows app development platform."

      from the article:

      WinUI 3.0 is intended to be the primary official framework for Windows desktop applications.


      Microsoft's problem is that it has changed strategic direction so many times that developers outside a niche of Windows enthusiasts will have little confidence in the future of the current flavour.

      If I'm going to switch frameworks, it'll be with something that is

      * written in C or C++ _FOR_ C or C++

      * easily converted from existing MFC applications

      * runs on windows versions as early as XP

      * does not require a boatload of monolithic libraries and "indexing" for an hour or so after "yet another upate"

      * will NOT break my application in the future when some 3rd party garbage "app" installs its own crap on a computer [and then _I_ get THE MIDNIGHT PHONE CALL from DESPERATE CUSTOMER needing HELP to GET MY APPLICATION WORKING]

      * Compiles on Linux or FreeBSD or OS/X as well as Windows.

      RIght now I can think of 3 frameworks that work for this:

      * QT

      * GTK

      * wxWidgets [which uses GTK]

      wxWidgets is actually POSSIBLE to port from MFC and create Linux (etc.) versions of EXISTING WINDOWS APPLICATIONS. It's not pretty, but MUCH faster than a complete re-write.

      OK - Micros~1, _*WHY*_ do we need "yet another toolkit" again??

  3. captain veg Silver badge


    Some years ago my employer paid for me to attend a week-long WPF course.

    I hated it and forgot the lot almost immediately. Then I learnt HTML and CSS on my own time. This turned out to be the smarter move.

    Unless you are especially keen on regular disruption, avoid vendor-specific initiatives and stick to open standards. I include with extreme prejudice React (Native or otherwise) in that classification.


    1. Malcolm 1

      Re: phew

      If you needed to do Windows desktop development, WPF has probably been the best choice for the last decade (since Visual Studio 2010 migrated to WPF and they fixed many of the issues that had plagued earlier versions). With good support in .NET 5 and beyond I would be surprised if we bothered to port our desktop apps to WinUI3 although I suppose some of the Wiin 10 desktop integration features are quite handy.

  4. AMBxx Silver badge


    I remember attending the launch events for VS 2005/SQL 2005 etc. At that time, Microsoft had an amazing focus on 3rd party developers and recognised them as central to their own success.

    Now? They seem to be trying to push them away. I avoided WPF beyond doing 'hello world'. Looks like a good decision.

    A GUI without a visual IDE? Is it 1995 again?

    1. Aitor 1

      Re: WTF?

      Visual IDE but no designer.

      Not completely terrible if you are used to web dev, and most apps are responsive these days anyway, but it is quite useful o start up the design and see the components.. in any case who would be insane enough to trust Microsoft and invest in this when they do not know what thwy want to do.

  5. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Yet another desktop framework

    Don't forget there's also Project Reunion if you want to add a bit of UWP appiness to your Win32 applications. I don't suppose they'd have bothered with that if developers had been queuing up to adopt the "Modern API", which doesn't really bode well for yet another iteration.

    I think it's a bit late for a new framework that's firmly anchored to the desktop - though if it were obvious what should be the alternative, we'd presumably already have seen it. There are clearly fundamental differences between keyboard/mouse input and stabbing a fat finger in the general direction of a touch screen, but I would at least have expected some aspiration that an application's viewport might be on a tablet or mobile phone, possibly with additional HID. Existing web technology is probably insufficient and a simple remote desktop might be too crude, but surely that has to be the direction of travel?

    1. J27

      Re: Yet another desktop framework

      Project Reunion sounded like a joke until I read that repository... It's like that Xkcd comic about competing standards writ large.

  6. J27

    "the bulk of most project changes involve find-and-replace namespace changes."

    Why don't they have an automated conversion tool then?

    Honestly, Microsoft has changed their UI tools so many times that every single Windows app looks completely different. I hate to say this, but I think Apple has the right idea when it comes to UI toolkit support.

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