Microsoft's .NET Framework 4.7 Includes Major UI Enhancements

Developers can now take advantage of Windows 10 Creators Update's new high-DPI enhancements for sharper screens, touch input tweaks and improved stylus support.

Microsoft .NET Future

Readying developers for some of the user experience improvements that have been added to the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft has officially released .NET Framework 4.7.

The framework is included in the operating system software update. Although users will have to wait until April 11 for Microsoft to start distributing Windows 10 Creators Update via Windows Update, those comfortable with taking matters into their own hands can download it early using the company's Update Assistant tool.

Visual Studio 2017 has also been updated to support .NET Framework 4.7, enabling developers to target many of the operating system's new features. The company also plans to make the updated framework available for previous versions of the operating system "soon," the software giant announced.

It will eventually be released for Windows 10 Anniversary Update, 8.1, and 7 SP1 along with Windows Server versions 2016, 2012 R2, 2012 and 2008 R2 SP1.

Helping developers get a better handle on things, the company is in the midst of migrating .NET Framework's online documentation to a new, more user-friendly home, announced Microsoft program manager Rich Lander.

"The .NET Framework docs are now available on docs.microsoft.com. The docs look much better and easier to read and navigate," he said in an April 5 announcement. "We also have a lot of navigation and readability improvements planned for later this year."

The existing MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) links will redirect to the new site. Additionally, the documentation is set to show up on GitHub as it does for .NET Core, the open-source implementation of the technology.

Microsoft's .NET Framework 4.7 includes improvements to how applications and other user interface elements render on today's sharper, high-DPI (dots per inch) displays.

Although full HD (1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels) screens remain popular, PC, laptop and monitor vendors are increasingly pushing pixel counts to the 4K benchmark and beyond. In fact, Dell last month released the UP3218K, a 31.5-inch, 8K monitor with a resolution of 7,680 pixels by 4,320 pixels and a hefty price tag of $5,000.

The trouble with these high-resolution screens, particularly when they're packed into smaller and more mobile systems, is that application windows, prompts and other on-screen visuals can appear tiny or blurry.

To remedy this and help developers add some visual polish to their Windows applications, Microsoft has made a number of enhancements, including dynamic DPI scaling. The framework update enables apps using the Windows Forms graphical UI class library to render with the proper layout and to display high-resolution icons.

Additionally, apps will more gracefully adapt to DPI changes, which can occur if an application is moved across monitors of different specifications or if a laptop is connected to an external display.

For touch- and stylus-enabled systems, NET Framework 4.7 offers access to new Windows touch services, for more accurate and responsive user interactions. The new implementation registers touch input more consistently and works better with dialog windows and popups, according to Lander.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...