What you need to know
- Windows Package Manager is currently in preview and allows user installation of apps from within the terminal.
- New feature to allow removal has been submitted to the store for release soon but has already been previewed on Github.
- Anyone can try Windows Package Manager for themselves with minimal setup.
That Windows Package Manager exists at all is a big step forward, but while the service is in preview it is rather limited. At present you can use it to find and install software but removing it has to be done the old fashioned way. And who wants to do that?
Finally, though, that is about to change, according to these tweets from Demitrius Nelon, a member of the Windows Package Manager team.
Guess what just became available at https://t.co/LQX6ghtHQW. https://t.co/XXZzt7yf9FGuess what just became available at https://t.co/LQX6ghtHQW. https://t.co/XXZzt7yf9F— Demitrius Nelon (@DenelonMs) January 28, 2021January 28, 2021
We're publishing the Windows Package Manager preview with "uninstall" to the store now. I'll let you know when it becomes available.We're publishing the Windows Package Manager preview with "uninstall" to the store now. I'll let you know when it becomes available.— Demitrius Nelon (@DenelonMs) January 28, 2021January 28, 2021
It may sound like a small update but it's a huge deal for users of Windows Package Manager and will make it something users can start to really rely on. The update has been submitted to the Microsoft Store for existing users and will be pushing out pretty soon.
Windows Package Manager is very similar to the package managers you'd use on Linux in the terminal, and on Windows will eventually be a first-party alternative to something like Chocolatey. It's not necessarily for everyone, which is fine, but there are plenty of use cases where a tool like this will make software deployment, and soon removal, much more efficient.
And if you do try it out, definitely head on over to winstall.app, an excellent third-party tool for locating and assistance with supported packages.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine
I'm looking forward to this. Any idea when it will get out of preview? Will it become part of windows, or will it be an add-on
Not sure on either of those points atm, but it's worth keeping tabs on the Github repo. I would imagine the long term play must be to integrate it natively into Windows/PowerShell though.
I don't know for sure, but the way it's shipping now is that it's part of the "App Installer" package that the store uses to install UWP and AppX packages (even if you download it separately from GitHub, installing it modifies the App Installer). So if they don't break it out into a seperate thing, I would assume that it will be a part of windows, since that's a built in part of the OS. As to when it will get out of preview, who knows. I've been watching the GitHub since they announced it last summer. Lots of progress, but it was super barebones when they first announced it, and it doesn't feel close to fully functional yet (though that may just be because Windows isn't really the same as Linux when it comes to installing stuff and how easy that is to do from a command line).
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