Earlier this week at Build, Microsoft introduced the Windows Package Manager, its first attempt at creating a Linux-like package manager for Windows. In its current form, it’s a tool entirely based on the command line, making it possible to quickly download and install a multitude of apps from a centralized repository, which is hosted on GitHub.
If you’re not a fan of using command line-based tool, though, Mehedi Hassan, who also develops the popular Tweeten client for Twitter, has created winstall.app. It’s a web app that serves as a GUI version of the Windows Package Manager, letting users search for and install apps on an individual basis. It also lets users select multiple apps and create a batch command that installs all of them in one go using the command line.
The repository that the Windows Package Manager – and winstall.app – feed off of has grown significantly in the past couple of days, and already has over 240 apps as of the time of writing. This includes the likes of Steam, ShareX, Telegram, Google Chrome, Edge, and more. Software developers can also submit their app manifests to the repository in order to make them available on the Windows Package Manager.
Currently, the Windows Package Manager is somewhat limited in that it can only search and install apps, but Microsoft discussed some improvements during Build sessions. The company is working on adding uninstall and update commands to make it easier to manage packages you’ve already installed. If you’d like to get the latest updates to Windows Package Manager, you’ll need to be a Windows Insider or sign up for the Windows Package Manager Insider program. The Windows Package Manager is distributed as part of the Windows App Installer that’s already included in Windows 10.