Microsoft has released the third preview version of .NET 6. This version enables developers to create classic Windows applications with .NET MAUI.
All changes in .NET 6 Preview 3 can be found in a blog post. The most important change is the introduction of Project Reunion 0.5. This makes it possible to design Windows applications with .NET Multi-platform App UI. This is a project that allows developers to build the UI for applications for different platforms from a single codebase. Android, iOS and macOS were already supported, but not classic Windows applications.
Project Reunion 0.5 uses WinUI 3, the UI framework that Microsoft has devised for the future of Windows. This makes the applications very similar to UWP apps, but they still run like classic desktop applications. However, they no longer work on Windows 7 and 8, which currently still account for around 20 percent of the market. A sample image shows a similar design language to that found in, for example, the Settings menu in Windows 10.
Other improvements in the third preview include a new way to hook into lifecycle events, an improved Grid layout and enhanced accessibility options. In addition, several features have been added that should improve performance at the low level.
The full version of .NET 6.0 is scheduled for release this fall. The most important improvements are that Android, iOS, macOS and Windows ARM64 will then also be officially supported. Building the interfaces for these applications will be made possible through integration with Xamarin Forms.