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Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) provides the foundation for building applications and high fidelity experiences in Windows Vista and Windows XP SP2, blending together application UI, documents, and media content, while exploiting the full power of your computer’s hardware.

WPF applications can be built using Visual Studio 2005 (see below for required updates) and Expression Studio – these tools bring designers and developers together, using common programming languages (XAML), a single set of project files/resources and delivering consistent designer/developer workflow so as to enable the creation of compelling desktop applications.

Download an Introduction to Windows Presentation Foundation (PDF, 1.6Mb) for an overview of Microsoft’s presentation technology.

Whilst WPF applications are typically installed as desktop applications, they can also deployed via Internet Explorer (on Vista and Windows XP SP2) as an XBAP – enabling web-based delivery in environments where deploying a full application is not possible.


Microsoft provides the following tools for building WPF applications – download trial versions below:

Example Applications 

There are lots of WPF applications already available to download and install or access as an XBAP; a list of available applications is maintained on Channel 9 – check them out or read more about some highlighted examples on Tim Sneath’s blog. Note: These are desktop applications and are compatible with Windows Vista or Windows XP SP 2 with the .NET 3 Framework installed.


The following blogs/links contain more information about WPF and are recommended reading:

You can learn how to build WPF applications using Visual Studio 2005 with these Hands-On Labs, alternatively if you’re a designer, then download and install Expression Blend and follow the built-in tutorials.

If you’re currently using Flash/Flex then the following blog posts by Pavan Podila – note that Flex and WPF are not directly comparable (Flex is for web-based applications, WPF for desktop applications), but the syntax and development approach comparisons are interest.


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