Windows forms application in VS2010 WITHOUT .NET?

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I want to create more or less portable (stand-alone, no install, WinXP to Win7) Win32 forms application in Visual Studio 2010. When I create a new project, it appears that the only way I can do it is if I use .NET/CLR, which makes me think it will be very unportable.

What is the preferred way of creating such apps?

2012-04-04 06:38
by Konrads


Depending on what you mean with portable. An .NET application will function on all versions of Windows that runs the correct version of .NET (even other OS'ses in some cases You will only have a dependency of a hudge framework, that I think most people running Windows have by now.

Besides .NET you have other alternatives such as MFC or native Win32 API.

2012-04-04 06:45
by Jaco
I was really hoping to take advantage of some forms building tool. But it appears MFC/Win32 is the way to go - Konrads 2012-04-04 07:16
You can use resources for forms/dialogs - Jaco 2012-04-04 08:24
is this MFC or plain win32 - Konrads 2012-04-04 18:57
The screenshort is for MFC, but resources work for both see for win3 - Jaco 2012-04-05 05:17


you can either use C/C++ with MFC in VS 2010 or use something different altogehter creating a "native application" like C++ Builder or Delphi.

On the other hand .NET is installed by default in Windows XP SP3 and up - at least .NET 2.0 is always available... see

2012-04-04 06:42
by Yahia
+1 for delphi recommendation - RRUZ 2012-04-04 16:25


You can use .NET in conjunction with a linker (example 1 and 2) if you don't mind large executable sizes.

Otherwise, C/C++ without managed extensions.

2012-04-04 06:44
by Steven P