Microsoft is finally getting its native Windows UI platform act together with WinUI 3 and WPF

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(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced that WinUI 3 is joining WPF as the two recommended native UI platforms for Windows.
  • The company is accelerating its own use of WinUI 3 across apps in Windows, including File Explorer, Photos, Phone Link, and more.
  • WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) is also being updated with Windows 11 theming and hypen-based ligatures support for .NET 9.

It's Microsoft Build day, which means it's time for Microsoft to talk all about how it's making Windows better for developers. Today, the company has announced that it's getting its act together around native UI frameworks in Windows. It's now recommending just two UI platforms, those being WinUI 3 and WPF.

Microsoft has slowly been adopting WinUI 3 in many of Windows' built-in apps over the last couple of years, and the company today has said that it's now accelerating this adoption across core apps such as File Explorer, Photos, Dev Home, PowerToys, and Phone Link, with more to come down the line.

Additionally, WPF is being updated with Windows 11 theming, which should make it easier for developers building apps with that UI platform to make their app look and feel native and at home on the latest versions of Windows 11. It also now suppers hyphen-based ligatures for Microsoft .NET 9, and the company says it will continune to invest in WPF going forward.

The Windows App SDK, along with WinUI 3 or WPF are now the preferred ways of building apps on Windows. Microsoft says WinUI 3 is best used when apps are graphical, media, and consumer focused, and WPF is best used when leveraging the larger ecosystem of third-party controls and libraries.

You can learn more about the Windows UI platform during the "Navigating Win32 app development with WinUI and WPF" session.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads

  • davepete
    I find it interesting that the room was fairly empty. Is Paul Thurrott right? Is native Windows app development done?