Microsoft admits Windows Package Manager (WinGet) was inspired by Credits Developer AppGet

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Windows 10 - WinGET GUI

Returning to Build 2020 last month, Microsoft introduced a new Windows Package Manager (Winget) for Windows 10. The new tool makes it easy for developers to download services to help with application development. However, the new open source solution sparked controversy after the creator of a similar tool argued that Microsoft had stolen his idea.

Microsoft has now admitted that it should have credited Keivan Beigi for his work in getting WinGet off the ground. However, the company halted before apologizing to the Canadian developer.

Windows Package Manager provides a way for developers to access tools that are not available to them in the Microsoft Store. If you want to know how to use WinGet with PowerShell or GUI, check out our tutorial here.

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Keivan Beigi, who created a package manager called AppGet, says Microsoft showed great interest in the software last year. He says the company spoke to him and became interested in AppGet. The company later ghosted Beigi and he never heard from Microsoft again.

AppGet is an open source Windows package manager that allows software to automatically install on PCs. Microsoft’s Andrew Clinick, who works with the company’s application model, interviewed Beigi last year for a potential role. After the interview, Beigi says he never heard from Redmond again.

Microsoft responds

Beigi says Microsoft contacted him 24 hours before the Windows Package Manager announcement to let him know. This suggests that Microsoft knew that elements of AppGet were included in WinGet. Still, the company made no mention of Beigi or AppGet when discussing WinGet at Build 2020.

Now Clinick has responded to Beigi’s claims and said Microsoft should have given him proper credit.

“Our goal is to provide a great product to our customers and to our community where everyone can contribute and receive recognition” wrote Clinick.

“The last thing we want to do is alienate anyone in the process. That’s why we’re building it on GitHub in public where anyone can contribute.

“Over the past two days we have listened and learned from our community and we have clearly fallen short of that goal. Specifically, we haven’t lived up to that with Keivan and AppGet. It was the last thing we wanted.

Beigi said he was okay with Microsoft copying his open source idea, but wanted proper credit for his work. He also confirmed that he will no longer develop AppGet as there is no point in competing with Microsoft.

In his article, Clinick highlights some of the advantages of WinGet and, of course, they match most of the features of AppGet:

  • No scripts during installation – something we fully agree with and do not allow with MSIX.
  • A rich manifesto definition within GitHub – the power of being open combined with rich declarative metadata about the app is so important to achieving Goal # 1.
  • Supports all types of Windows application installers.
  • Transparent updates for apps in the repository.

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