AppGet Developer Wants Credit for Inspiring Microsoft Package Manager


  • One developer said Microsoft wanted to acquire its AppGet package manager in some form, but then stopped communicating with it and eventually released a very similar tool called WinGet.
  • He told Business Insider he just wanted Microsoft to give him an explanation and credit for his work.
  • Microsoft said it was investigating the situation. “We regret to hear about this candidate’s experience and are looking at the circumstances internally,” a spokesperson said.
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A developer who created a software tool that caught Microsoft’s attention said the company had run him for months on a job and then created a very similar service.

Keivan Beigi, the developer of the AppGet package manager, said Microsoft contacted him in July and subsequently expressed interest in hiring him and acquiring his tool before cutting communication for months and releasing his own package manager in May.

Now Beigi wants Microsoft to give him an explanation – and give credit for his work, he said.

“I don’t even know if I’m in a position to ask for anything,” Beigi told Business Insider. “Power dynamics is turned off.”

A package manager automates the process of installing, updating, or removing software, and Beigi created AppGet while working full-time as an IT manager for a cryptocurrency trading company. Microsoft unveiled its own package manager of the same name – WinGet, or Windows Package Manager – at its Build developer conference last week for Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system.

Beigi believes WinGet is “very inspired” by its own package manager, which he says Microsoft originally wanted to acquire by hiring it. In an article published Sunday on Medium and spotted this week by various tech industry media outlets, Beigi wrote that Microsoft had approached him last summer, expressing interest in AppGet as “a great addition to the Windows ecosystem.” .

Beigi met with one he described as a “senior manager at Microsoft,” and the conversations eventually evolved into a discussion of plans for a combination of acquiring AppGet and hiring Beigi. Business Insider has reviewed email exchanges between Beigi and Microsoft, which outline details of his potential employment, including discussions about his role and compensation.

Beigi said he flew to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. On December 5, but hadn’t heard from Microsoft for six months – except for an exchange with HR about a travel reimbursement issue – until recently, when the same high level manager told him Microsoft would release WinGet. In this email the manager wrote: “I’m sorry the pm position didn’t work.” (PM in this case represents the “package manager” engineer position.)

After Beigi posted his article on Medium, he said that Microsoft’s hiring manager contacted him and said the company had no plans to surprise Beigi with the release of WinGet, but did did not explain why communications fell apart. But Beigi said he still wanted an explanation of how the situation turned down as she did.

Beigi said there was no suggestion that Microsoft “copied” AppGet, which was open source anyway and written in a programming language other than WinGet. But, he said, Microsoft has taken the basics of how the project works and it would appreciate some credit or recognition.

Microsoft said it was investigating the situation. “We regret to hear about this candidate’s experience and are looking at the circumstances internally,” a spokesperson said.

Beigi has decided to stop developing AppGet because he thinks it’s a “waste of effort” now that Microsoft has its own package manager in the Windows ecosystem. AppGet will close permanently on August 1.


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