Last week at Build 2021, Microsoft announced the general availability of its Windows Package Manager, also called WinGet. WinGet 1.0 arrives one year after its announcement at Build 2020, and the subsequent controversy in which a developer alleged that Microsoft stole his product and Microsoft subsequently ignored that complaint.
“A package manager is designed to help you save time and frustration,” Microsoft’s Demitrius Nelon explained when the firm announced its plans for WinGet. “Essentially, it is a set of software tools that help you automate the process of getting software on your machine. You specify which apps you want installed, and it does the work of finding the latest version (or the exact one you specified) and installing it on your machine.”
Put another way, WinGet is basically a way to automate the installation and updating of Windows applications that you obtain from outside the Microsoft Store. That is, instead of searching for the software you need on the web and then finding the right page and right software version to install, you can automate this process with WinGet. The only issue for most people? It’s a command-line tool.
WinGet 1.0 will soon be integrated into all supported versions of Windows 10, and IT admins can configure whether this software will be installed via Group Policy. But if you’re interested in getting started now with WinGet, you can download it from GitHub or directly with this link.
I will be covering the Windows Package Manager (WinGet) in the next major edition of the Windows 10 Field Guide as well.