Multiple Platform Support

.NET Framework extends your business reach across Microsoft platforms.

.NET is a set of technologies that spans many platforms including mobile devices, desktop clients, and web services. In addition, .NET Compact Framework and .NET Micro Framework (now open source) extend that reach even further into smaller-footprint devices. .NET portable libraries enable binaries to be shared between multiple platforms such as the desktop, Windows Store apps, Windows Phone apps, and others. Implementing your client logic with .NET portable libraries will greatly simplify the creation of multiple experiences on multiple platforms.

Windows Desktop

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a next-generation system for building Windows client applications with visually stunning user experiences. With WPF, you can create a wide range of both standalone and browser-hosted applications. WPF is included in the Microsoft .NET Framework, so you can build applications that incorporate other elements of the .NET Framework class library.

  • WPF provides powerful controls and advanced features such as layout, databinding and templating to build visually rich, powerful applications.
  • Development and maintenance costs are reduced because XAML markup is not tightly coupled with behavior-specific code.
  • Development is more efficient because designers can implement an application's appearance simultaneously with developers building in .NET.

Learn more about WPF at MSDN ›

Windows RT Devices and Windows Store Apps

The Windows Runtime provides the user interface elements for building Windows Store apps, and provides access to operating system features. Like the .NET Framework, the Windows Runtime has metadata that enables the C# and Visual Basic compilers to use the Windows Runtime the way they use the .NET Framework class libraries. The .NET Framework makes it easier to use the Windows Runtime by hiding some differences in programming patterns between the .NET Framework and the Windows Runtime, some differences in commonly used types are hidden. For more information, see .NET Framework Support for Windows Store Apps and Windows Runtime.

Windows Phone

If you've previously developed .NET or XAML apps, you can transfer those skills to develop Windows Phone apps that use XAML for the UI and C# or Visual Basic for the code. Use .NET to build your apps or take full advantage of the platform for your games with DirectX/C++. .NET apps and games can reuse their business logic across Windows 8, the web (ASP.NET), and Windows Azure so developers can move faster. For more information, see Windows Phone Dev Center.

Windows Server and Windows Azure

.NET is the richest and most productive way for developers to create applications on premise (Windows Server) and in the cloud (Windows Azure). It’s also the best way to build first-class back-ends for any device running on any OS (Windows 8, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7).

  • .NET is the best environment to develop cloud applications spawning the private datacenter and the public cloud.
  • .NET on the server powers ASP.NET, WIF, Entity Framework and WCF.
  • .NET provides the best capabilities and framework to enable developers to create next-generation enterprise solutions.
  • .NET and Visual Studio enable developers to manage all their development tasks in a very productive way.

Download the Windows Azure SDK for .NET ›

Micro Framework

The .NET Micro Framework is the smallest version of .NET for very resource-constrained devices. It offers a complete and innovative development and execution environment that brings the productivity of modern computing tools to embedded programming. Even though it’s offered under an Open Source License (Apache 2.0) it is still under active development inside Microsoft in coordination with active community contributions.

  • Easily develop powerful, interactive, and complex embedded applications.
  • Securely connect devices over wired or wireless protocols.
  • Develop reliable solutions faster at lower cost.
  • Develop the endpoints of your solution for connected devices using the same tools that are used on the servers and in the cloud.

Learn more about .NET Micro Framework at MSDN  ›

Learn more about .NET Micro Framework at NETMF.COM  ›

Download .NET Micro Framework ›

Compact Framework

The Microsoft .NET Compact Framework enables you to build and run managed applications and use Web services. The .NET Compact Framework includes an optimized common language runtime (CLR) and a subset of the .NET Framework class library, which supports features such as Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Forms. It also contains classes that are designed exclusively for the .NET Compact Framework.

  • The .NET Compact Framework is a subset of the full .NET Framework.
  • It implements the Framework class library and also contains features and classes that are specific to mobile and embedded development.

Learn more about .NET Compact Framework at MSDN  ›

.NET Compact Framework documentation  ›

The business value of .NET

The business advantages of developing software on the .NET Framework.

Read The Business Value of .NET ›

Customer examples

Discover how businesses are using .NET Framework to stay ahead.

View .NET case studies  ›

Why more companies are migrating from Java to .NET

An in-depth analysis of a growing industry trend.

Download the Java to .NET Migration white paper  ›