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It’s finally happening. Microsoft provides developers with a command line interface to install their favorite tools. That’s right – at Build 2020 today, Microsoft announced Windows Package Manager in preview.
It’s not just about helping developers create for The Windows. It’s about helping developers and businesses adopt Windows. Microsoft’s mission is to get developers to love using Windows on macOS and Linux. Part of that mission is to release tools like Windows Terminal for Business and improve WSL for anyone who needs Linux while they code. Another part is to help developers (and IT administrators) set up their Windows environments as easily as possible. In a similar vein, Microsoft today also added some highly requested features for PowerToys: To run and Keyboard remapper. But the first is certainly the biggest news.
Windows Package Manager
Windows Package Manager is a command line interface for finding, viewing, and installing commonly used developer tools. Developers list their applications in a GitHub repository; the package manager picks them up and installs them. In a pre-Build 2020 briefing, Microsoft Partner Program Manager Scott Hanselman outlined the vision:
You have just joined a company and they give you the onboarding document. They give you a ridiculous Word document and they say, “Here on board. It’s like, ‘Install this. Put that in place. ‘ And honestly, they don’t expect you to be working for at least a few months. They say, ‘Get ready by the end of the week.’ They lie. You have to install all of this equipment. It’s a big problem.
What if you could have the Windows package manager? And you could say “winget install terminal, winget install Visual Studio”. Boom boom boom. What if I could give you a script that just configures your machine? You have everything you need. It’s a thing. Then they say, “Well get the source code now. ” They say that. ‘Get the source code and compile it. Just compile it. ‘ Never work that way.
What I want to do is, I mean, I want to join your area. I want to join your space. There is a code space of yours that I want to enter. There is a good practice. There is a series of tools that we want to get. And I’m going to go say, “Give me these tools.” I’m going to get into that code space, we’re going to create a container in the cloud, pull that code out of GitHub, and now you have an area in the cloud that’s representative of business best practices, and you could really code in. a few minutes. Literally people say that. Like, 10 minutes, and you’re up and running. And it’s really something I’ve never seen before, and I’ve been doing this for 30 years.
Best of all, Windows Package Manager is open source – Microsoft is asking developers to help make it better.
Microsoft PowerToys are free system utilities designed for advanced Windows users. PowerToys add or modify features to maximize productivity or add more customization. They were first available for Windows 95 and later Windows XP. Last year Microsoft brought back PowerToys for Windows 10.
Microsoft today released Microsoft PowerToys version 0.18. The update adds two new utilities: PowerToys Run and Keyboard Remapper. The first is an application launcher utility for faster access to your programs (press alt + space and start typing). The latter allows you to customize key-to-key and shortcut-to-shortcut keyboard inputs.