We have been keeping a close eye on the thread here and I wanted to reply to some of the messages...
John Galt wrote:
Please please please put this in and end the bootstrap crap.
The Windows Installer team completely understands the pain associated with bootstrappers, and we will be working hard in the future to address the situation. Unfortunately, we were not able to do this work in Windows Installer 4.0, but rest assured that we
will be looking at this very closely for our next release.
Seriously, a central way of updating ALL your applications (regardless if there were written by Microsoft or not) would be a dream come true.
I agree completely with the other sentiments on this thread that the operating system really needs a central application update mechanism. I believe that the Windows Installer 4.0 provides the necessary infrastructure so that it will be possible for Microsoft
(or a 3rd party) to build such a solution in the future.
And finally, thanks to those of you who attended our Windows Installer 4.0 chat on Tuesday. If you were not able to attend, a transcript will available
here within the next few days.
- Tyler Robinson - Program Manager, Windows Installer
Is the MSI team monitoring this thread? What about some insight on the auto update thing and what the MS reasoning behind that is? The whole point of channel9 is two way communication, right?
As a matter of fact, we are. We are looking forward to reading what everyone thinks of our new features in Windows Vista. Also, if you are interested in hearing more about Windows Installer 4.0 you can:
Now, to address some specific questions on the thread so far ...
Basically, upon shutdown you use the Restart Manager interfaces to persist the state of all running processes, which is restored when you log in again after the computer comes back up. This would be cool, and it seems a shame to relegate the functionality
to being part of the Windows Installer component rather than a wider Windows metaphor.
The Restart Manager is actually a standard set of Win32 API's that will be available for anyone to plug into. Some information about this was given in the Reliable Apps
PDC 2005 (FUN308) talk. So, while the Windows Installer provides the easiest way to support the Restart Manager from your installation, it is not the only way.
Why can't we just click on the msp?
The Windows Installer has always had the ability to create double-clickable patches, you just had to do some extra authoring as part of the patch creation process. As of Windows Installer 3.0 (Windows XP SP2), we added automatic support for double-clicking
of MSP files without any extra authoring required.
Lots of people wrote:
What about auto-update?
The Windows Installer provides lots of technologies that enable auto-updating of applications on Windows Vista. For example, if you combine our UAP Patching functionality along with our Restart Manager integration, you get a really great experience where applications
can easily update themselves without requiring the end-user to consent to elevation
and with the application automatically shutting down and restarting to mitigate the reboot. Additionally, our existing feature that allows you to apply patches at the time of install makes it super-easy for a bootstrapper to check the internet for updates
and apply them automatically at install-time.
Granted, this isn't the centralized universal update mechanism in the operating system that many would like to see, but I think the Windows Installer has made great strides towards improving the application update story in Windows Vista.
Thanks so much for your comments, and please remember that we have an upcoming
MSDN Chat on Tuesday, November 15 that focuses specifically on our Windows Vista feature set. Please attend.
- Tyler Robinson - Program Manager - Windows Installer Team