Windows app development: options and features

App development frameworks

There is a wide range of options for developing applications for Windows. The best option for you depends on your application requirements, your existing code, and your familiarity with the technology. The following table lists the most popular app development frameworks available on Windows and the features supported by each framework.

To read more about each of these Windows app development options, see Writing apps for Windows.

Feature .NET MAUI Blazor Hybrid React Native (RNW) UWP XAML (Windows.UI.Xaml) Win32 (MFC or ATL) Windows Forms WinUI 3 WPF
Language C# C# JavaScript, TypeScript C#, C++, Visual Basic C++, Rust C#, Visual Basic C#, C++ C#, Visual Basic
UI language XAML/Code Razor JSX XAML Code Code XAML XAML
UI designer
(drag & drop)
UI debugging Hot Reload Hot Reload Fast Refresh Hot Reload - Hot Reload Hot Reload Hot Reload
Fluent Design ✅ (via WinUI 2)
.NET .NET .NET N/A .NET Core & .NET Native N/A .NET & .NET Framework .NET .NET & .NET Framework
Windows App SDK ✅ (more info) via MAUI ✅ (more info) ✅ (more info) ✅ (more info)
Great for touch
Xbox/HoloLens apps
Sandboxing (AppContainer)
Currently supported
Receiving updates ✅ (security & bugfix)
Roadmap GitHub GitHub GitHub n/a n/a GitHub GitHub GitHub

Learn more about each of these options:

Other Windows development options

There are even more options for developing on Windows:

See also