Microsoft Adds Limited MSIX Support to Windows 10 Versions 1803 and 1709
Microsoft's MSIX packaging format has new added support for Windows 10 versions 1803 and 1709, but the support is fairly limited.
Most of the support for MSIX seems to really start with Windows 10 version 1809. MSIX is Microsoft's new packaging format for application software. It was deemed by Microsoft as completely replacing the older AppX format, starting with the release of Windows 10 version 1809, which Microsoft said had been officially released back in November.
Organizations can distribute MSIX packages for Windows 10 versions 1803 and 1709 “using tools like System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, PowerShell, double-click file deployments or installing directly from the APIs,” explained John Vintzel, program manager lead for MSIX, in Microsoft's Monday announcement. However, they can't distribute packages from the Microsoft Store or Microsoft Store for Business as doing that “will still require Windows 10 1809 or later.”
Many more limitations on the use of MSIX with Windows 10 versions 1803 and 1709 are described in this Microsoft document. Even though Microsoft added support for those older operating systems in response to customer requests, the limitations seem like they could be deal breakers for some developers, IT pros and even end users.
For instance, here are the limitations of Windows 10 versions 1803 and 1709 with regard to MSIX use, per Microsoft's document:
- No support for using the MSIX Packaging Tool or Visual Studio
- No support for “MSIXbundles,” an application package type
- Users have to manually verify the app signatures
- Users must run the MSIX files as administrators
Microsoft also announced on Monday that it has released a new version of the MSIX Packaging Tool, namely version 1.2019.110.0. However, using it also requires having Windows 10 version 1809 or later installed. The MSIX Packaging Tool, available from the Microsoft Store, can be used to repackage older Win32 (Windows 7-type) applications in the MSIX format.
One other bit of news in Microsoft's announcement is that it plans to launch a new Insider Program for users to try future preview releases of the MSIX Packaging Tool. There's a sign-up link to join the new Insider Program. It's located at the bottom of Microsoft's “MSIX Packaging Tool Overview” page.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.