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WinForms on ARM64 with .NET 7 by Stefan Koell

Tietoevry Austria GmbH

This meetup is organized by DotNetDevs.at (https://dotnetdevs.at/).

Abstract:

WinForms was introduced 20 years ago in 2002 with the release of .NET Framework 1.0. It's a "thin wrapper" around the native Win32 APIs, which is still the foundation of millions of apps - including first-party Microsoft apps which ship with Windows. It enables rapid app development in VB.NET and C# and is still used in open-source, commercial, and internal apps around the globe.

One such commercial app is Royal TS, a WinForms app, written in C#. Royal TS has been available since 2003 and combines multiple remote management technologies in a modern user interface which kind of looks like a cross-over between Office and Visual Studio. Even though Royal TS is also almost 20 years old, it has constantly been updated to keep the technical debt at a minimum. Moved from .NET Framework to .NET 5, 6, and 7 on launch date, incorporating Dependency Injection, In-App Pub/Sub Messaging, HighDPI support, SVG-based icons, UI theming, Royal TS has been kept up to date and modern all the way.

As of .NET 7, Microsoft officially supports ARM64 for WinForms and WPF. So, can I just compile the app for the ARM64 platform and everything will work? Why not just compile to "Any CPU"? There are some caveats, especially when dealing with 3rd party dependencies which utilize native code targeted for x64 platforms.

Also, why would anyone want to compile the app for the ARM64 platform in the first place? What are the benefits? What about the Intel Bridge Technology on Windows 11? Which hardware runs Windows on ARM?

In this talk, I will share my experience, pitfalls, and learnings, focusing on the x64 to ARM64 transition. If you have WinForms (or WPF) based apps and want to keep them relevant and up to date, don't miss it.

Your mileage may vary but for Royal TS, running natively on ARM CPUs is an investment for the future. ARM is on the rise and may soon be much more attractive to run Windows as Intel/x64-based CPUs.

Stefan Koell is Co-founder and CEO of Royal Apps GmbH and Windows lead developer for Royal TS, a multi-platform, multi-protocol remote management solution for Windows, macOS, and mobile. Supporting RDP, VNC, SSH, Telnet, Web, and many more. Long time Microsoft MVP [masked]) supporting communities on- and offline as well as speaking at user groups and conferences about DevOps and other software development topics.

Timetable:

  • 18:00: Door opens at Tietoevry & Stream starts at
    https://www.twitch.tv/dotnetdevsat or
    https://www.youtube.com/c/DotNetDevsAustria
  • 18:15: Intro
  • 18:20: Talk starts
  • 19:15: Food & Drinks
  • 21:00: End

Recordings will be available afterward on https://go.dotnetdevs.at/recordings

This meetup is organized by DotNetDevs.at (https://dotnetdevs.at/).

This meetup is sponsored by

  • Tietoevry Austria (https://www.tietoevry.at/)
  • RUBICON IT GmbH (https://www.rubicon.eu/rubicon/)
  • JetBrains (https://jetbrains.com)

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