Last year, Microsoft announced a new app packaging effort called MSIX, and there were high hopes for what it could mean. In particular, I liked the idea that it could help with Windows 10 Modern Management.
I knew that Tim Mangan would have a lot to say about MSIX; and following up some blog posts at BrianMadden.com and on his own site, Tim has now released a report called “MSIX Report Card, 1809 Edition.”
The 12-page report goes into a bit of the context around MSIX and the vendors involved, and then grades how well software vendors, tooling vendors, and Windows are doing with support. MSIX is a multi-year effort on Microsoft’s part, so this is the first of what should be several annual versions.
Click here to get the report from TMurgent.com.
How well is MSIX doing?
First off, it’s important to know that MSIX is really a three-part effort: It’s a new package format to replace the MSI; it’s a new containerized runtime environment; and it also includes tooling from Microsoft and third-party vendors.
Tim rated software vendors as “Incomplete.” Not many ISVs are releasing apps in the MSIX format yet, but given that it’s still so early, and that the runtime environment has a long way to go, that’s okay for now.
Tooling vendors get a B+. This takes into account tooling for developers, IT pros, and distribution. Quite a few vendors are involved: Microsoft’s first-party offering is the Microsoft MSIX Packaging Tool; plus Caphyon Advanced Installer, Flexera, FireGiant, Cloudhouse, Emco Software, Infopulse Pace, RayNet, InstallAware, Liquit, and Adaptiva are all involved with MSIX in various ways, too.
Perhaps the most important part, MSIX Runtime Support gets a C+. There’s a ways to go, but again, this is the first year of a three-year effort, so they’re actually doing pretty good for now.
Tim did a bunch of live testing using the Microsoft MSIX Packaging Tool and Advanced Installer, along with App-V as a control. He also listed the top missing features in the MSIX Runtime.
All in all, this sounds like a decent start, and much more promising than Project Centennial. It’s going to be a long time before we can go 100% of the way towards Windows 10 Modern Management (some of us still have to migrate) but I see UEM vendors working hard to pick up where Windows leaves off, and Windows evolving as well. Keeping in mind that there’s a whole spectrum of Modern Management options, MSIX is another part of this.
Download Tim’s report!
The report goes much deeper on all of this, and it’s well worth your time. A big "thank you" to Tim for putting this together!