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Microsoft pulls MSIX discussions into Windows Tech Community

Packing app tech fans asked to huddle under the Windows umbrella

Microsoft is "realigning" the MSIX tech community and cramming all the existing discussion spaces into a single place within the Windows Tech Community.

Unlike the infamous Great Technet Deletion, Microsoft has promised that existing discussions and blogs will remain intact, but simply be moved somewhere else. Affected will be posts regarding MSIX Deployment, the Package Support Framework, MSIX Packaging tools, and the MSIX SDK. Rather than their own special place, the discussion spaces will be shunted under one roof.

MSIX is Microsoft's great hope for Windows app packaging. With support for Win32, WPF, and Windows Forms, it is the company's current preferred method for IT professionals and developers to ensure that apps stay up to date.

It has also been a little problematic from a security perspective. Earlier this year Microsoft was forced to disable the MSIX ms-appinstaller protocol handler for MSIX after reports surfaced of the system being taken advantage of by miscreants.

The protocol handler is a neat idea – a user could click a link on a website and install an app without being forced to download an entire MSIX package. Enterprises were delighted with the convenience, and Microsoft declared itself as "thrilled that it has been adopted by so many people today."

However, we in IT are rarely allowed nice things for long. And Microsoft pulled the protocol after it became clear that it was pretty easy to trick users into installing malware. At the time that it disabled the protocol, Microsoft said: "We are taking the time to conduct thorough testing to ensure that re-enabling the protocol can be done in a secure manner."

If only such a thoughtful approach had been taken before the release.

While Microsoft has yet to reinstate the feature (despite anger from users finding themselves with applications that can't be installed without some fiddling), it has, however, found time to shunt MSIX information into a special corner of the Windows Tech Community. Now if only it could find time to fix the woes of the MSIX ms-appinstaller protocol handler as well.

Still, at least Microsoft is promising that during this latest migration blogs and discussions between the MSIX tech community won't be confined to the digital dustbin of history. Let us know if that changes. ®

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