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MSIX Packaging Tool Released for Windows 10

The MSIX Packaging Tool for Windows 10 is available via the Microsoft Store, according to a Wednesday announcement.

The tool represents Microsoft's new approach for packaging apps, succeeding the MSI and AppX approaches. The MSIX Packaging Tool earlier was just available at the preview testing stage back in August for Windows Insider Program participants.

Microsoft is positioning the MSIX Packaging Tool as a common means for packaging both Universal Windows Platform apps and Win32 apps. The tool is supported on Windows 10 version 1803 and later releases, iOS, Android, macOS and Linux. Microsoft also maintains an MSIX software development kit as an open source GitHub project.

MSIX files should start showing up this fall when getting Microsoft applications, Microsoft previously indicated. MSIX is supposed to replace the AppX format "completely" when Windows 10 version 1809 is released. Windows 10 version 1809 was released on October 2 but Microsoft later pulled it due to file deletion issues, and so that OS version is currently suspended pending a fix.

Every Microsoft application that comes from the Windows Store will be in MSIX format, according to an Oct. 18 Twitter post by John Vintzel, principal program manager lead on the apps foundation team at Microsoft.

MSIX is supposed to be an improved approach because it lets IT pros customize applications built and packaged by developers. IT pros can just add a "modification package" to an MSIX package, and aren't required to repackage the app.  

Users of the MSIX Packaging Tool from the Microsoft Store need to have administrator privileges on the PC to use it. Microsoft has published a guide on how to repackage Win32 apps (Windows 7-type apps) to the MSIX format at this page.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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