Earlier this week at Build, Microsoft introduced the Windows Package Manager, its first attempt to create a Linux-like package manager for Windows. In its current form, it’s a completely command-line-based tool, allowing you to quickly download and install a multitude of apps from a centralized repository, hosted on GitHub.
If you’re not a fan of using a command line tool, Mehedi Hassan, who also develops the popular Tweeten client for Twitter, created winstall.app. It is a web application that serves as a graphical version of Windows Package Manager, allowing users to find and install applications on an individual basis. It also allows users to select multiple apps and create a batch command that installs them all at once using the command line.
The repository that the Windows Package Manager feeds on – and winstall.app – has grown significantly over the past couple of days and already boasts over 240 apps at the time of writing. This includes Steam, ShareX, Telegram, Google Chrome, Edge, etc. Software developers can also submit their application manifests to the repository to make them available on the Windows Package Manager.
Currently, Windows Package Manager is somewhat limited in that it can only find and install apps, but Microsoft has discussed some improvements during build sessions. The company is working on adding uninstall and update commands to make it easier to manage the packages you have already installed. If you want to get the latest updates from Windows Package Manager, you must be a Windows Insider or enroll in the Windows Package Manager Insider program. Windows Package Manager is distributed as part of Windows Application Installer already included in Windows 10.