When we introduced WPF back in 2006 (.NET 3.0), the response was absolutely phenomenal. Enterprises, ISV’s, and Microsoft Partners have made the technology central to their business, building amazing vertical solutions and mission critical applications for their customers. This momentum carries forward to today – 10% of all newly created projects in Visual Studio 2013 over the past 60 days are WPF. WPF has amassed a passionate, vibrant, community that uses it to build data-centric desktop business applications on Windows. A recent example of this would be a new WPF application that was developed by our partners at InterKnowlogy. This application was recently used by CNN producers in the mid-term elections to upload, validate, and configure the data seen in the on-air election application. The election data is presented on CNN’s Magic Wall, which Microsoft’s Bing Pulse team helped to develop.
Areas of Platform Investment
Based on a survey we conducted at the //build conference earlier this year, UserVoice suggestions, and interviews with a large number of WPF developers across a variety of market segments over the past few months, we’ve prioritized the following areas for future investments to make WPF a better platform.
Performance: While WPF is actively being used to build large-scale, high performance applications like Visual Studio and Blend, further improving the performance of the platform based on customer feedback is a priority for us. Some key scenarios we are looking to optimize in this context are application startup, scrolling and virtualization performance of ItemsControls.
DirectX interoperability: The primary scenario of interest here is to make it seamless for WPF applications to interoperate with newer versions of DirectX.
Supporting modern hardware: Technologies like touch and high density displays are ubiquitous on modern devices. To support upgrading to newer hardware, it’s important that existing WPF applications can adapt to new hardware capabilities coming to desktop machines.
Tooling: We will continue to co-evolve the tools for WPF when appropriate, alongside new platforms like .NET/WINRT. This commitment is reflected in the tooling investments section of this post.
Investments in some of these areas might introduce dependencies on a particular OS version and/or have compatibility risks. For these cases, the features will light up based on the host OS and/or might require you to opt in to use the feature.
Current Progress on WPF
Let’s first address a common question regarding support: WPF is a quintessential part of the .NET Framework. The .NET Framework is defined as a component of the operating system, instead of an independent product. So, support for .NET Framework is driven by the support lifecycle policy of the Windows operating system. Extended support for the current recommended version of .NET (4.5.2) on Windows 8.1 is available till 2023. We will continue to fix security issues and bugs reported by customers that impact a large cross-section of our WPF customers.
Okay maybe this isn't a ringing endorsement or announcement for a big bang release, but heck at least there IS a roadmap and we ARE getting fixes and features! I think this is the first WPF news, truly WPF news, that I've seen in a while and it's good to see... :)