We are using our own Telerik presentation framework as a basis of our winforms control suite. This presentation framework is not an abstraction layer for WPF, because our controls work under .NET Framework 2.0. It nevertheless uses several of the ideas, introduced with WPF, but it is a pure WinForms framework.
I cannot speculate on the cost of migration in your particular case, as it depends on the complexity and nature of the application. For example, our WPF suite may lack the counterpart controls that we offer in the WInForms suite, or vice versa. Theming and visual appearance, although similar, will also be an issue, because WinForms and WPF controls are skinned differently. In other words, migrating a WinForms application to WPF will entail more than just changing assembly references. The TPF will make things harder, because the concepts we use are already included in WPF. Honestly speaking, I am not sure that migrating from our WinForms controls to the WPF controls will be easy. More on the topic you can find here: Have a safe trip from WinForms to WPF
I would suggest taking another path - chose one of the technologies and stick to it. If you are thinking of using WinForms and then migrating to WPF, this would take nearly twice the effort compared to going with WPF from the very start. WinForms is not dead
yet and it is still the recommended technology for LOB applications.
The technology that you are going to use depends solely on your resources and requirements. Do you have a requirement to use WinForms or WPF? Is your team competence heavier in favor of WinForms? Is something preventing you from considering WPF as an implementation platform at this point? Is the application business oriented, i.e. will it use data controls, such as grids, treeviews, etc? Will it use themes, animations, or other visual goodies? The answers to these questions will help you decide which technology to use. Here are a couple of readings which will help you with this decision:
If you decide to go with Windows Forms, note that you can host a winforms application within a WPF application using container controls, as described in this blog: r.a.d.controls for WinForms in WPF
. I encourage you to read more about container controls, and migration to WPF in the MSDN Walkthrough: Hosting a Windows Forms Control in Windows Presentation Foundation.
the Telerik team