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:
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.