Pete Brown, Developer Division Community Program Manager at Microsoft, wants to help developer migrate from WinForms"I want to help Windows Forms developers transition applications to Silverlight and WPF."

Why? Hope Microsoft is not going to kill WinForms (hey, I'm joking!). The blog post in itself is not very relevant, although I find it quite strange that Microsoft is pushing for this transition from Windows (since WinForms is tied to the Windows API, more or less like the VCL) to a cross-platform solution. But I did notice some of the comments.

This is a short (and very biased) summary of reasons NOT to migrate to WPF:

  • "Users may have more than one of these applicatons open at a time so with the default behaviour of WPF which does not have an equivilant for MDI parent the users may get lost"
  • "We are scared because of XML syntax and designer in VS 2008. Also I heard WPF performance sucks."
  • "How about MS go ahead and make use of WPF in their flagship products (Windows, Office). We are not comfortable seeing MS doen't use WPF in those products."
  • "Databinding is a mess in WPF and Silverlight. It's half-baked -- no type safety, poor performance, and inconsistent, byzantine conventions."
  • "My application does most of the control creation on run time... So, XAML is not useful."
  • "The main thing I'd like is for WPF and Silverlight to be treated equally. Right now, it seems that SL is receiving all the fanfare"
  • "Winfrom apps have a well understood ux model (e.g Menu bar File/Edit/Help) and a consistent look and feel with their surrounding applications as far as Windows controls (at least until Vista)"
  • "I have the reason why not [move to WPF] documented" at
  • "Large applications developed during more than 2 or 3 years, it does not make sense, from a financial point of view to "transition" to WPF or Silverlight"
  • "Do not forget that still today many big companies are still actively developing very large applications using WinForms, started no longer than 1 or 2 years ago, so we expect Microsoft to invest in actively supporting WinForms, in paralel with WPF in the forseeable future"
  • "What business value does migrating from WinForms truly offer?"
  • "The end users are running older model windows XP based machines"
  • "The UI design was simply to replicate as closely as possible, the look and feel of the other [Windows] app."
  • "How would spending many man months (more likely, man years) moving to WPF help us meet our next deadline?"
  • "We have about 10 devs working on our app, and at least two active branches, so the concept of having yet another team converting the code to WPF, while customer are still demanding quick enhancements is unthinkable."
  • "Lack of business controls. WinForms doesn't have a lot of good controls built in but there are mature 3rd party libraries like DevExpress."
  • "Incredibly complicated design system."
  • "As a Windows developer and longtime VS user I have no time for or interest in learning and using Expression Blend."
  • "No MDI in WPF"

My comments? (i) Welcome to the real world, where developers have goal other than playing with the development technology. (ii) Rather than move from WinForms to WPF, were Microsoft to downplay WinForms role, I'd rather get (back) to Delphi. (iii) See also the Evernote story I mentioned in my Silverlight blog post: If you transition from WFP, go to Delphi and not to C++. 

Of course, there were also positive comments, but also some negative ones including asking why this info is in a personal blog and not on an official Microsoft site. One side reasons I posted this list is that I think almost everything applies if you are thinking of moving from Delphi's VCL to WPF.