MFC vs Win32: Difference and Comparison

The operating system of Windows offers classes or sessions to its users. The classes provided teach the development of computer or desktop applications for Windows operating systems.

The classes are provided by MFC and Win32.

Key Takeaways

  1. MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes) is a C++ library that simplifies the development of Windows applications, whereas Win32 is a lower-level application programming interface (API).
  2. MFC provides a higher level of abstraction, making it easier to develop applications quickly, while Win32 requires more extensive knowledge of the Windows operating system.
  3. MFC applications have larger executables and require more system resources than Win32 applications.

MFC vs Win32

Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) is a collection of classes to facilitate the creation of graphical user interfaces in Windows-based applications. Win32 is a low-level application programming interface (API) provided by Microsoft that allows developers to interact with Windows system resources.

MFC vs Win32

Microsoft Foundation Class library is a collection of classes for simplifying the creation of applications for the operating system of Microsoft windows.

MFC was introduced in 1992 and within a few years of its launch, it gained wide popularity and was used widely across the globe.

The Win32 is used for building applications of 32-bit. A beta version of Win32 was available in 1992 October. It can be defined as a programmer who acts as a link between messages and responses together.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMFCWin32
Language MFC is based on language C++.In Win32, the user is free to use any computer language of their choice other than the default languages C and C++.
Efficiency The efficiency provided by MFC is higher than Win32 but MFC’s efficiency is not as high as other languages.The development efficiency of Win32 is lower than MFC.
Flexibility MFC provides great support to programmers without affecting their freedom and flexibility.Win32 is also free and flexible to develop computer applications on.
Operations UsedMFC has less complex and extremely common operations to build applications with.Win32 has more complex and difficult operations to build computer applications with.
ComplexityMFC is considered to be more complex for the creation of PC applications than Win32.Win32 is less complex and easier to build PC applications on.

What is MFC?

MFC also provides a bunch of data types, constants, and functions. Through this tutorial, you will learn how to start and create PC applications that are windows based.

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The library is more used to develop more complex user interfaces with numerous synonyms. However, it can also be used to develop extremely simple PC applications.

The MFC library is built with C++. The classes in the library are pre-planned. The library is used to save a user’s time by providing code that has already been written.

It also provides an overall framework for building the application program. Before using the library the user is expected to know or to have basic knowledge about the following- basics of programming with windows, basics of C++, understanding about the fundamentals of object-oriented programming.

MFC provides many of the codes of applications, which are required for the following- Windows management, menus, and dialog boxes, performing basic coding, and storing collections of data.

You can simply increase the basic functions that are performed by the MFC framework using the language C++ applications by adding your specific codes of application into the framework of MFC.

The framework of MFC is an efficient and strong approach that allows the programmer or a person to build on the work of experts for operating systems of Windows.

MFC is one of many extensions and wrapper classes for object-oriented languages that make the structure of object-orientation more explicit.

Some of the main features of MFC are preview and print options, automation, active accessibility, Windows socket, support restart manager, and navigation bar.

What is Win32?

Win32 is available on the Microsoft Windows operating system. The main focus of Windows API (Win 32) is programming language C.

The Win32 had the edge of providing the programmers much power, command, and flexibility over their PC applications. However, this also develops a big responsibility for them in how the applications would tackle numerous low levels, occasionally monotonous.

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Win32 has been used in Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, and the latest operating systems of Windows.

With every new version of Windows, the changes, additions, and depreciation are made in its API. Win32 lets the programmers use the computer language of their own choice other than the default languages C and C++.

Developing a computer application would require the use of the SDK in the Win32 to maintain the similarity, avoid the genuine faults, and other errors that might errors that might occur while programming.

The problem that might take place while working with SDK of Win32 is that you would require to hand operate the codes.

This hand operation might open to errors while performing the program which can either be insignificant and can be fixed rapidly or crucial or even impossible to find out.

Thus, Win32 might not work efficiently in 16-bit Windows and 64-bit windows.

Other magnificent computer programs like JAVA, Python, NET, and Ruby internally use Win32 functions. The API of Windo6ws is mainly responsible for the following functions- installation and management, diagnostics, graphics, networking, Window user interfaces, security, and services of Windows.

Main Differences Between MFC and Win32

  1. If you use MFC for coding, it makes coding much simpler, uncomplicated, and lighter than using Win32.
  2. In Win32 the programmers have to write the coding on their own while the MFC initiates the coding on its own which makes it easier to use.
  3. Time taken in the development of computer applications in MFC is lesser than the time taken for the development of computer applications in Win32.
  4. MFC makes codes more portable for its users as compared to Win32.
  5. MFC gives easy access to “hard to program” user-interface technologies and components but Win32 does not provide this access.

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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