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Microsoft has released .NET Core 3.0 Preview 7 and Visual Studio 16.3 Preview 1, which work together to enable new features including Windows desktop applications built with .NET Core and C# 8.0.
NET Core 3.0 is the first version of Microsoft's open-source, cross-platform fork of .NET that is able to target Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Windows Forms, the two most commonly used frameworks for Windows desktop applications.
Frameworks - Cross-platform - Windows-only - Windows - NET
This does not mean those frameworks now work cross-platform; they are still Windows-only. It does, however, mean that on Windows .NET Core gains features like COM interoperability.
Why build desktop applications in .NET Core, rather than the trusty .NET Framework, especially if it is still Windows-only? One reason is that the .NET Framework is now kind of a legacy runtime and does not support C# 8.0, which is also nearing general availability.
Microsoft - Framework - Language - Features - APIs
Microsoft wants to play safe with .NET Framework and keep it compatible, so given that some new language features and APIs in .NET Core require runtime changes, they will not work on the .NET Framework. The official word on this is here, where program manager Immo Landwerth explains that new features in .NET Standard 2.1 will not come to the .NET Framework, which remains on .NET Standard 2.0.
Yes, there are multiple incompatible .NET standards.
Developers - NET - Framework - Language - Features
This means developers need to move away from .NET Framework if they want to keep up with new language features. Eventually this will be an issue for popular libraries and components as well.
Microsoft has already announced that the version of .NET Core after 3.0 will be .NET 5.0, and it will lose the "Core" designation, underlining the legacy status of .NET Framework.
Course - Downside - WPF - Windows - Forms
There is, of course, a downside. Yes, you can now build WPF and Windows Forms applications using .NET Core 3.0, but it is not quite the same WPF or Windows...
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