C# vs .NET vs .NET Core vs ASP.NET vs ASP.NET Core vs WPF/ Winforms 

C# vs .NET vs .NET Core vs ASP.NET vs ASP.NET Core vs WPF/ Winforms  


The first programming language was developed by Konrad Zuse for the Z3 between 1943 and 1945, and it was known as Plankalkul. Later many other programming languages were developed during the 1950s and 1960s, and a couple of them, like COBOL and LISP are still used today. 

The C language, which gained immense popularity as a programming language was developed much later, in the year 1972 by Dennis Ritchie. C was a general purpose high-level language that was developed for the Unix operating system. Even though it is a general-purpose programming language and a very old one, it never went out of fashion, and is still the most widely used one. With a pretty good knowledge of C, you will not have any trouble learning other programming languages like C++, Java, Python etc. The syntax is similar as well, so learning them is so easy. C is quite fast too, like Java and Python.

In this article, we will look at the differences between some of the major programming languages and how they can be great with various projects. 

The all powerful C

As explained above, since C is all purpose, structured and powerful, it can be used to develop software for databases, compilers, operating systems and so on. The language is just the perfect starter for beginners. If you know C well, then you can easily learn other languages. The language can be used to build any kind of application, complicated programs and operating system of choice. Since it is the most universal and beneficial language, when you master C, you are at an excellent point in your career where you can grow. The features of C are vast and varied, and they can combine the functionality of both high-level and low-level languages. C is extendable, it provides excellent support for data types, making the language easy to use and very speedy. C is also noted for its excellent libraries that can support different functions and operators. 

Uses of C

The uses of C extend to so many applications like:

  • Embedded systems
  • System application development
  • Desktop application development
  • Several Adobe applications
  • Browser development and extension for browsers
  • Databases like MySQL
  • Develop operating systems
  • IoT related applications

Indispensable C++

C++ is a very fast, and strongly typed programming language that’s used widely for developing operating systems. It’s mainly used for games, GUI based applications, embedded systems, banking applications, database management software, compilers and web browsers. The programming language is known as C with classes with several features that would help develop large systems and resource-constrained software. Since it is strongly typed and fast, it is a great language for developing operating systems. One of the biggest advantages of C++ is that it allows you to build super-scalable applications. 

Uses of C++ 

  • The main purpose is to create games
  • Writing operating systems
  • Develop UI based applications
  • Writing database management software
  • Rendering browsers because of its fastness
  • Advanced computation and graphics
  • Develop banking applications
  • Implementing cloud storage systems
  • Develop embedded systems
  • Developing enterprise software like flight simulation, radar processing etc.
  • Backend for high-level machine language libraries 

Mandatory .NET

.NET is an open-source platform that’s primarily used for developing desktop, web and mobile applications. The programming language comes with tools, languages and libraries that help you build modern, scalable and high performing apps. One of the features that make Dot Net superior to other object-oriented languages is that it is simpler, uses automatic memory and garbage collection. Object-oriented language means languages that are associated with inheritance, abstraction, classes, objects, polymorphism etc. 

If you are looking to compare .NET and C++, it is important to note that the latter is a programming language, not a platform.  Dot NET on the other hand, is the framework and runtime that C++ programs are built and run on. So both are essential for application development. Choosing between Dot NET and C++ would thus depend on project requirements and considering their usage, implementation, going through their pros and cons and other features.

Uses for .NET

  • Create desktop applications
  • Cloud native applications
  • Internet of Things devices
  • Web applications
  • Mobile applications
  • Gaming apps

Need for .NET Core

Also maintained by Microsoft, .NET Core is a new version of the .NET framework. There is a difference between .NET and .NET Core. While Dot NET is used for developing desktop and web apps, Dot NET core does not support that. Instead it focuses on web, Windows mobile, Windows Phone and Windows Store. Dot NET Core is a complete rewrite and it gives a more flexible, cross platform, modular approach to application development. But they have the same base class library and a shared API, .Net Standard. It’s also a great choice when you want to build highly scalable, secure apps.

Uses of .NET Core

  • Logistics and supply chain management apps
  • Internet of Things devices
  • Accounting and payroll apps
  • Powerful cloud applications, services and systems

Dynamic ASP.NET

ASP.NET is an open source server side web application framework, mainly used for web development and developing interactive, data-driven, dynamic web pages. This was released by Microsoft in 2002, and the applications run on MacOS, Linux, Windows and Docker. This free, web framework uses HTML, CS and Javascript, creates Web APIs and uses real-time technologies like web sockets. 

Uses of ASP.NET

  • Build robust web applications
  • Dynamic websites
  • Create web services

Reliable and fast ASP.NET Core

ASP.NET Core is a cross-platform, open source framework that lets you build modern, cloud-enabled, internet connected apps. You can develop apps on multiple platforms, not just for Windows. For Linux or Mac, you can use Visual Studio code. The performance of ASP.NET Core is accentuated by Kestrel, an open-source, cross-platform web server and through this tool, it is able to perform well in the top tier of the regular benchmark tests. 

Uses of ASP.NET Core

  • Build web apps and services
  • Mobile backends
  • Internet of Things apps
  • Payroll and Accounting
  • IoT devices

Free and Open Source WPF

WPF or Windows Presentation Foundation is a free graphical subsystem developed by Microsoft for rendering user interfaces. So it is not a programming language, but a technology and it uses C# or any Dot Net language to develop rich GUI applications. The front end language used is XAML. WPF is not widely used, but anyone can use it by downloading it and applying it for app development for Windows. 

Free and Open Source Winforms

Winforms is also known as Windows Forms and is another free and open source graphical class library and a part of Microsoft .NET. This UI framework helps build Windows desktop applications. 

If there is a comparison between WPF and Winforms, then the former is better when it comes to scalability and migration. It also offers faster rendering when compared to Winforms and provides better performance, complexity and support. 


All these are important programming languages or frameworks serving one purpose or the other. Keeping yourself updated on the use cases of each of these would help you decide which one to choose. 

Interesting Links:

Want to learn C#?

More information about .NET

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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