In a surprise move, Microsoft has announced today that they have open sourced their three popular Windows UX frameworks including WPF, Windows Forms, and WinUI.
Microsoft’s venture into open source started back in 2004 when the company released a Windows development toolset called WiX. Since then, the company has been actively open sourcing their stuff.
Microsoft became the largest contributor to the Linux kernel in the year 2012. The biggest news around a year ago when Microsoft made it easier to run Linux on Windows 10 systems by including Ubuntu in the Windows Store.
“This journey is our continued commitment to creating the development platform with you, through open source.” says Kevin Gallo, Corporate Vice President at Windows Developer Platform
By offering these popular Windows UX frameworks including WPF, Windows Forms, and WinUI on GitHub, it provides transparency between the product team and the community, helps democratize Windows development, and enables the community to engage and contribute to these repos.
Microsoft is looking forward to your contributions. If you are a developer, for now, you can get started with Windows Forms and WinUI now. WPF is starting with System.Xaml, with more to come over the following months.
For those new to these frameworks, I will leave with a quick brief about each of those with a link to the GitHub.
WinForms is a UI framework for developing Windows desktop applications. It is a .NET wrapper over Windows UI libraries, such as User32 and GDI+. It also offers controls and other functionality that is unique to Windows Forms. Check WinForms at Github for details.
Windows Presentation Framework (WPF)
WPF is another UI framework for building Windows desktop applications. It supports a broad set of application development features, including an application model, resources, controls, graphics, layout, data binding, and documents. WPF uses the Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) to provide a declarative model for application programming. Visit the WPT page at GitHub for details.
Windows UI Library (WinUI)
WinUI is a kit of open source UI features and controls for the Windows UWP platform. It is targetted to be the easiest way to build fluent design experiences for Windows.
Overall, another good day for the Open Source community!