MSIX Readiness

Liquit Setup Commander 3.6, one of the core components of Liquit Release & Patch Management, will be released at the end of June 2020. This release includes an option to convert ‘legacy setups’ to the modern package format called MSIX, using the Microsoft MSIX Packaging Tool.

Within the Repackaging Wizard you have an option to convert the MSIX package into an MSIX app attach VHD during the repackaging process. Which then can be used with Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session 2004, on premises or as part of a Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop implementation.

Now, can you convert or repackage every legacy setup to MSIX without facing application compatibility or other issues? Unfortunately not.

If you want to learn more about compatibility, I can highly recommended reading Tim Mangan’s MSIX Report Cards. Application compatibility and MSIX Readiness is related to the quality of programming of the selected application, whether device drivers are included, Windows services have to be installed, shell extensions are used, how files are accessed, where files are written to, whether (Office) plugins are involved etc. etc.

Some compatibility issues can be fixed using what’s called the PSF. PSF is the acronym for the Package Support Framework which deserves a detailed blog on its own.

Some issues can only be fixed with the PSF, a current version or a future version. Last month e.g. Tim submitted a proposal for Registry Fixups for which feedback is kindly requested for. Some issues will be fixed with a future version of the MSIX Packaging Tool. Some issues can only be fixed in a later Feature Release of Windows 10 as part of an OS update.

Over the last few weeks we’ve tested every new Setup Store entry for MSIX Readiness and we’re now busy doing the same for less recent updates. When you select an application from the Setup Store and opt to repackage it, you will learn the details about these tests under the ‘MSIX Readiness’ tab.

Some of the issues can be fixed adding and configuring the PSF. Some issues only with a later version of the PSF. Some issues with a later version of the MSIX Packaging Tool and some issues only in a later version of Windows 10.

Some examples of applications for which we’ve seen issues repackaging to MSIX are ABBY FineReader, Adobe Reader DC, Firefox, GeoGebra, GIMP, ImageMagick Studio, KMPlayer, Nitro Pro, Notepad++, R Core and WinSnap.

I’ve included a couple of screen captures of errors below. Not to nag, but just to give you an idea of the type of compatibility issues you can might run into. Some issues are easy to fix, some aren’t. The Adobe Reader DC issue only occurs if you don’t include the latest MSP update during repackaging e.g.