So I tried to create the Setup project using InstallShield Crippled Edition (since MS ripped out the previous Setup project type). First you have to go to Flexera's website, give them all your info and then wait for them to email you an activation code.

Once you go through the install process, you can select it as project in VS. There is a confusing wizard that has 85% of its functionality disabled, telling you how you need to pay for the Express, Professional or Premiere if you want to do anything.

Next I tried to go through the wizard steps as best I can, but still ended up with about 5 compiler errors. Had to Google each one of them to figure out what it is supposed to mean and how to fix it. The last one basically told me InstallShield is too stupid to know the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit and I have to create a unique setup project for each. Unbelievable. Oh, and the Crippled Edition isn't smart enough to detect dependencies - you have to go and select them manually (C++ Runtimes, .Net versions etc for both 32-bit and 64-bit).

Wow, so after my company paid a crapload for my MSDN subscription you still need to pay more to do what used to be free/easy previously? It used to take me no more than 5 minutes to create a Setup project - now I have to fight with a crippled install project that has so many features disabled that it is essentially worthless. Yes the MSI installer was clunky but still pretty powerful.

I really wonder what is happening to MS. They used to go out of their way to create awesome dev tools. I just don't see that any more.