In a recent article by Naveen Kumar Nooka, he shares about the latest developments in Microsoft’s MSIX Packaging Tool (v1.2023.319.0), especially concerning improvements to the application conversion process.

New Feature: Accelerators

One significant update is the introduction of “accelerators”, developed in response to user feedback o simplify the conversion of legacy apps into MSIX format. These accelerators are files that make conversion more efficient, and they’re community-driven. They enable upfront visibility of changes needed post conversion and reduce the time spent manually applying fixes.

The process for using accelerators includes the following steps:

  1. Join the MSIX Packaging Tool Insider Program to access the preview build.
  2. After enrollment confirmation, install the latest MSIX Packaging Tool.
  3. Package an application by selecting the Application package icon and applying the accelerator to the corresponding app. Sample accelerators are available here.
  4. Watch as the tool applies fixups and preps the app for streaming.

Moreover, IT admins can create their own accelerator files for repeated repackaging events. For a deeper understanding of creating accelerators, reference the original documentation on Accelerators.

Preview: Visual Studio Tooling for MSIX Images

In a bid to allow developers to spend more time in their work flow, Visual Studio introduces tooling enhancements to create App Attach ready packages. This feature, currently in preview, enables the creation of VHD(x) images and their publishing to AVD host pool from within Visual Studio, which accelerates the use of MSIX App Attach.

Steps to use the feature include:

  1. Installation and setup of Visual Studio 2022. Detailed instructions are available here.
  2. Get the extension from MSIX Developer Labs and install it.
  3. Create a new or open an existing WinUI 3 C# Desktop app.
  4. In the Solution Explorer, choose Package and Publish > Create App Attach Packages.
  5. Configuration of the package includes defining version, signing the package, and selecting the platform.
  6. Additional actions include local App Attach for testing, publishing to Azure Virtual Desktop, or simply creating the VHDX without publishing.

To stay up to date with the latest MSIX features, Nooka encourages readers to join the MSIX Packaging Tool Insider Program. Feedback and feature suggestions can be made through the Feedback Hub or the MSIX Tech Community. For support, visit Windows on Microsoft Q&A.