You may have noticed something named Microsoft Windows Desktop Runtime in your Programs and Features, and wondered what it is:
A clue is that you can see Microsoft ASP.NET Core was installed at the same time and has nearly the same build version number (in the screenshot above, they are both version 6.0.24.xxxxx).
Put simply Microsoft Windows Desktop Runtime is official real code direct from Microsoft that allows program developers to “call” new functions Microsoft has written to make software development faster, easier, and more consistent. This new code is an extension to what Windows shipped with.
Put more technically, Microsoft Windows Desktop Runtime is a component of the .NET Desktop Runtime. It enables you to run existing Windows desktop applications without needing to install the runtime separately. The .NET Desktop Runtime is included in the .NET 6.0 Desktop Runtime release, which is available for download from the official Microsoft website.
You can think of .NET and Microsoft Windows Desktop Runtime (aka “Runtime”) as a framework with lots of useful bits already coded so a developer has less to do. A software application developer can focus on the creative parts of the code.
For instance, instead of writing code to draw a popup window, a developer on Windows just have to “call” the preexisting Microsoft code to draw the popup, then specify how large it should be, what color it is, and what text and buttons to put in it.
You can uninstall Microsoft Windows Desktop Runtime but anything that relies on it… and that could be alot of things… will break, so we don’t recommend you uninstall Microsoft Windows Desktop Runtime or .NET.