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MSIX Packaging Fundamentals
Tim Mangan, Bogdan Mitrache & Kevin Kaminski

Going Forward

In 1999 Microsoft delivered the first MSI packages. Since then, Windows Installer has become the pillar of application packaging and deployment. The MSI is still the most used packaging technology for Windows applications, but the evolution of operating systems has outpaced the, mostly-ignored, Windows Installer technology. MSIX is well positioned to become the replacement packaging and delivery vehicle going forward.

Within modern OSes containerization is no longer an obscure topic. For more than a decade App-V has been the #1 virtualization solution for enterprise environments, accompanied by ThinApp and others (many discontinued).

OS-es for mobile devices have been running virtualized apps from day one. Starting from a clean slate was a big advantage for iOS and Android, since they didn’t have to go through all the trouble of helping developers migrate apps to a new packaging and runtime environment, as MSIX has to do today, with millions of Win32 and .NET applications.

As with every new technology, caution is advised. MSIX is still developing, there are many challenges to tackle and a detailed evaluation and planning process should be executed when shifting to MSIX.

This will be a long journey, but with important benefits for those that choose to adopt MSIX. And each year, this list of benefits keeps growing, for both ISVs and enterprises.

The MSIX story is not complete today. Upending decades of well-established formats and runtimes is not easy. And planning for what we will need for the next decade or two takes careful consideration. Microsoft chose not to design it all up front and give us the complete technology that MSIX will become. Instead, they delivered a part of what we know we need now, and plan to add to it over time.

You have an opportunity to contribute to this plan. Please join your colleagues by participating in the discussions in the MSIX Technical Communities and contribute your ideas.