Microsoft Build Developer Conference event 2018 held in May outlined the roadmap of .NET Core 3.0 which will be supporting Windows desktop applications, especially Windows Forms, UWP XAML, and Windows Presentation Framework (WPF). There are exciting updates to .NET Framework which allows using the new modern controls from UWP in existing WinForms and WPF applications. ASP.NET Core offers exciting new opportunities in providing robust Microsoft technology solutions to enterprises.

ASP.NET Core will continue to move forward in parallel and will have a release with .NET Core 3.0 with a commitment to web and cloud applications, as well as providing support to Windows desktop applications as another supported workload for .NET Core.

.NET Core for Desktop

  • Improving performance and runtime updates for excellent user experience
  • Quickly test a new version of .NET Core for just one app on a machine
  • Enable machine-global and application-local deployment
  • .NET Core CLI tools support and SDK-style projects in Visual Studio

.NET Core 3 for an Existing Desktop Application

For new desktop applications, it is best to start with .NET Core 3. However, there are questions about moving existing applications, particularly enterprise-level applications, to .NET Core 3. Since the focus is towards an effortless and straightforward move, any application that is in active development should consider .NET Core 3. Applications that don’t require major change or investment should stay on .NET Framework 4.8.

Steps to be followed

  • Desktop applications will need to target .NET Core 3 and recompile.
  • Project files will need to be updated to target .NET Core 3.
  • Dependencies will not need to retarget and recompile. There will be additional benefits if you update dependencies.

Additional Improvements to .NET Core 3.0 and .NET Framework 4.8

  • Access to the complete Windows 10 (AKA “WinRT”) API
  • Host UWP XAML controls in WPF and Windows Forms applications, as well as UWP browser and media controls, enabling modern browser and media content and standards

Advantages of NET Core 3.0

Let learn the benefits of .NET Core for the .NET Framework Developer Community

Side-by-side versions of .NET that support WinForms and WPF: Only one version of .NET Framework is supported on a machine. .NET Core allows solving multiple versions of .NET Core on the same machine. Applications can be locked to one of the versions and can be moved to use a different version when ready and tested.

Embed .NET directly into an application: As there can be only one version of the .Net framework on the machine, if developers want to take advantage of the latest framework or latest functionality it is important to install a newer machine version. .NET Core allows taking advantage of the latest version, functionality, and APIs without having to wait for the framework to be installed.

Leverage .NET Core Features: .NET Core is an open-source version that allows the introduction of new innovative APIs and BCL improvements without facing compatibility issues.

.NET Framework and .NET Core: The Road Ahead

With installations running into billions of machines, the key in the .NET framework is the implementation. It is important to ensure compatibility, making the development pace slow compared to .NET Core.

.NET Core is the open-source, cross-platform, and fast-moving version of .NET ensuring easy support to the latest networking protocols, security standards, and Windows features. .NET Core 3.0 takes a giant leap ahead by adding WPF, WinForms, and Entity Framework 6 support.


If you are looking to hire a Microsoft developer, this is probably the best time. The advanced versions allow developers to explore exciting new features to build desktop applications and make them more advanced. .NET Core will allow exploring new horizons and areas like Desktop, IoT, and Machine Learning and making it easier and easier to share code between all the .NET’s with .NET Standard.

If you are looking to leverage the power of .NET Core 3 for your applications, get in touch with our team of Microsoft developers today!