At the start of last month, Windows 10 SDK Preview build 17682 made its appearance with its main new feature being support for the new MSIX format. This technology enables existing Win32 applications to be placed into a container and then run on devices running Windows 10 build 17682 or higher.
Now, Microsoft has released a preview version of its MSIX Packaging Tool on the Microsoft Store if you've been wanting to try your hand at converting apps into the new MSIX format without using the full SDK. In order to download it though, you'll need to be logged into the Microsoft Store app with a Microsoft Account enrolled in the Windows Insider Program. Of course, if you are clicking on this download on a machine already enrolled into the program then you should already be signed into the store.
However, there are a number of prerequisites, which include:
- Participation in Windows Insider fast or slow rings
- Minimum Windows 10 Build 17701 or later
- Administrator privileges on your PC account
- A valid MSA alias (to access the app from the Store)
At the moment, being a preview, the full functionality of the tool has not yet been made available, with numerous features currently greyed out, but you can take advantage of the following:
- Package your favorite application(msi, exe, App-V 5.x and to MSIX format by launching the tool and selecting "Application package" icon.
- Create a modification package for a newly created Application MSIX Package by launching the tool and selecting "Modification package" icon. More detail on modification packages coming shortly.
- Open your MSIX package to view and edit its content/properties by navigating to "Open package editor" tab and browsing to the MSIX package and selecting open package.
If you're interested in giving the tool a bit of a test drive, you can download it from the Microsoft Store here. Plus, being a preview, feedback on the MSIX Packaging Tool is encouraged via the Feedback Hub which can be invoked by clicking on the Settings icon, then "Feedback".