Windows 8 includes Powershell 3.0 and AppX distribution cmdlets

By Tom Warren, on 19th Jun 11 1:39 pm with 7 Comments

Powershell 3.0 and AppX module

Windows 8 includes an updated version of Powershell which supports AppX distribution.

AppX is Microsoft’s new method for packaging and deploying applications in Windows 8. It is believed that the software giant is preparing an application model codenamed “Jupiter”. The model would allow developers to create native applications that can be easily deployed using AppX packaging. The container method is similar to Microsoft’s Silverlight-based application package (XAP). XAPs are generated from Silverlight projects and include the application assembly itself and an application manifest XAML file. The manifest file contains deployment details required to run the application. Microsoft appears to have a similar deployment method with AppX. The software giant uses AppXManifest.xml files for ease of deployment in Windows 8. The file includes all the necessary deployment information require to run the application.

The latest leaked build of Windows 8, 7989, includes Powershell 3. Microsoft has also included a new AppX module to allow system admins and power users to deploy Microsoft’s new .AppX wrapped applications. The Powershell AppX module contains the following cmdlets:

  • Add-AppxPackage
  • Get-AppxPackage
  • Get-AppxPackageManifest
  • Remove-AppxPackage

The cmdlets are basic at this stage and simply allow administrators to deploy and remove AppX applications alongside listing their properties. Microsoft appears to be altering the main method of deploying and installing AppX packages in Windows 8. “InstallAppX.exe is being depreciated,” reads a warning. “It will be removed from the product on or about 4/22.” Microsoft recommends that developers switch to MakeAppX.exe and the new Powershell AppX module. Microsoft’s new Powershell 3 version appears to include all the typical modules and cmdlets from previous versions. It’s not clear what enhancements have been made to Powershell 3.0 at this stage and there’s no release notes or support documentation that reveals any additional features from the 2.0 version.

The remaining piece to Microsoft’s AppX/Jupiter puzzle still remains. How do application developers create apps that work with the new app and deployment model? Microsoft has remained silent on this issue after it revealed that application developers will be able to target the new Start Screen user interface using HTML5 and JavaScript. A number of agitated developers have made their thoughts and feelings clear in Microsoft’s own developer forums. The software giant promises to reveal all at the BUILD Windows developer conference in September.

  • Alessandro Grua

    Does Windows 8 have a new desktop UI? Or what is that what I can see on the picture?

    • sca2pula

      Don’t think we know yet. Some elements such as the close and minimise buttons have a new metro look and there’s new login screens different to that in the immersive UI. I’m pretty sure it would look different to the current W7 like UI they’ve been showing because the difference between the two styles is far too jarring. 

    • Alessandro Grua

      Oh okay, I hope so! Metro Windows 8 would be great! :D

  • Ronit Kumar

    Even Ars Technica detailed an article addressing this issue of developer agitations, but one thing Microsoft is known for is its backward capability, those complaining should know that Microsoft will have a model for dealing with this. Most of the legacy apps will work on the legacy Win8 UI. Those looking for consumption will enjoy the metro UI, and those looking for serious productive work can also look forward to he revamped legacy win 8 UI. But still, it will all be unfolded in September, till then its all rumours I guess!!

  • Michael Sanchez

    Has anyone found any actually AppX applications that can be broken down and analzyed?

  • Saakhi Neethan

    <3 MSFT <3

  • Ramirez102

    I have tested this build and I think the the sysprep during the first boot-up “destroys” the tablet UI or hides it, along with other features. The current red/blue pills out right now seem to destroy features in this build, and lock/freeze/crash IE 9 and remove Aero transparency.