I only know a little bit about the Global Assembly Cache. After creating a WPF application, in the toolbox, if you right click and select "Choose Items", it will open a window in which you can specify controls you want to use that are in the GAC.

Is it safe to assume those will always be there if they are created by Microsoft? Does the application include these in the .exe, or will it attempt to look for them in the Global Assembly Cache every time?

They will always be there - IF - the corresponding version of the .NET Framework is installed on the target machine.

So, you would not include any of the individual DLLs with your application - you would check to see if the required version of the Framework is installed, and then use the Microsoft redistributable package to install it if needed.

Or, you can make it a prerequisite of your program, and impress upon the user to install the correct version before using your program.

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