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Why you should develop systems in WPF, not WinForms
Part six of a eleven-part series of blogs

We think - cautiously - that WPF is a better platform for client tool development than Windows Forms. This blog gives 10 reasons why.

  1. 10 reasons why WPF is better than Windows Forms
  2. WPF Forms are Quicker to Create
  3. Flow Layout Trumps Absolute Positioning
  4. WPF Works for Websites
  5. Styles are Much Better in WPF
  6. WPF is (I think) the Way of the Future (this blog)
  7. Better Data Binding
  8. Selecting Controls in the Document Outline Window
  9. Triggers
  10. StoryBoards and Animations
  11. Drawing!

Posted by Andy Brown on 25 September 2012

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5 - WPF is (I think) the Way of the Future

The big decision when upgrading computer software is whether you're backing a winning horse.  DataEase may have been a fine database, but not many people are using it now.  So the question is: will WPF supersede WinForms?  I wasn't sure before, but I now think there are three good reasons why it will.

Strength of User Base

I have no idea how many people are using WPF and WinForms, but I do know how easy it is to find answers.  Here are the number of questions on StackOverflow (the developer's bible) for each topic:

Questions tagged for WPF Questions tagged for Windows Forms
WPF tagged questions WinForms tagged questions

However, my belief in WPF's future comes more from my own experience of trying to find answers.  Whatever problem I had I found to be solved on Google somwhere.  You get a feeling for the user base for software when you come up against problems with it, and there are an awful lot of other people trying to make their WPF applcations work.

Microsoft's Backing

Here are the last two icons for Visual Studio (at the time of writing these Visual Studio 2013 wasn't released):

Visual Studio icons

The icons for the last two versions of Visual Studio.


If you go into the software, the two appications are more-or-less identical, but Visual Studio 2010 has been written from start to finish using WPF.  That's what I call commitment!

Better Functionality

A third reason that I think WPF will take off - and perhaps the most important one - is justified by the rest of this blog.  It's more fun to use, faster (once you overcome the formidable learning curve) and creates better applications!

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