What is desktop development? (overview)
Desktop development is a broad term for the process of writing software that will run on standard computers including your desktop, laptop, or general purpose computer. The software being developed could be system software to help your operating system or application software. Application software is designed to perform a single or a related set of tasks, and includes things like games, word processors, and customized applications for enterprises.
Watch this video about Microsoft desktop development offerings, and then prepare your environment by installing the tools you'll use to build your first desktop application.
LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF DESKTOP DEVELOPMENT
Client development for Windows involves three main models: Native C++ for programming directly to the Windows APIs, .NET managed code with Win Forms or Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and .NET managed code with Silverlight for rapid application development. You can write to each of these programming environments and others with Visual Studio – Microsoft's integrated development environment (IDE). The video will explain when to choose one programming environment over another.
Objective: Get a solid foundation on desktop development.
Select one of the following programs to install:
Download the sample code, then follow along with these videos to get started coding right away.
Win32 is an application programming interface (API) used to create all types of Windows applications. Win32 provides services (like access to files) and user interface elements (like drawing and getting input from dialog boxes) to your applications. Applications that are written on Win32 get access to the broadest set of Windows features.
CONTROL WITH FASTER DEVELOPMENT
Microsoft Foundation Class Library (MFC) wraps the Win32 APIs so that they can be more seamlessly used with C++ applications. MFC and C++ together provide a great balance of rapid application development and deep control over the platform for experienced developers.
TWEETING FOR RAPID DESKTOP DEVELOPMENT
WPF is a programming interface used to create graphical applications on Windows. WPF, a component of the Microsoft .NET Framework 4, provides facilities to build user interfaces that employ media, documents, hardware acceleration, vector graphics, scalability to different form factors, integration with Windows, interactive data visualization, and superior content readability.
TWEETING USING SILVERLIGHT TO RUN AN RIA APP ON THE DESKTOP
Silverlight is a programming interface that is used to create graphical applications that run on the web or on Windows. Silverlight, a component of the Microsoft .NET Framework 4, provides facilities to build interactive user experiences for web, desktop, and mobile applications that employ webcam, microphone, and printing when online or offline.
C++: Get started developing with Visual C++
Windows 7: Get started developing applications
WPF and Windows Forms for the Desktop
Silverlight Out of Browser for the Desktop
LightSwitch: Get started building business applications
C# and .NET for Java Developers