Package managers are software tools used for automating the process of installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing software on computer systems. They have become an essential part of modern computing, and they have a long and storied history.

The origins of package managers can be traced back to the early days of Unix in the 1970s. The first package management system was created by a group of developers at the University of California, Berkeley, who created a tool called “ports” to simplify the installation of software on their Unix system.

In the 1980s, a new package management system called “RPM” (Red Hat Package Manager) was developed by Red Hat, which is still widely used on Linux systems today. Another popular package manager, “dpkg,” was developed for the Debian Linux distribution around the same time.

In the 1990s, package managers began to evolve beyond the Unix and Linux worlds. In 1993, Apple released the Macintosh operating system version 7.6, which included a package manager called “Installer.” Microsoft introduced the “Windows Installer” in 1999, a component of the Windows operating system that enabled the installation and management of software packages in use today.

Since then, package managers have continued to evolve and improve. Today, they are an essential part of the software development process, enabling developers to easily manage dependencies and automate the installation and configuration of software across a wide range of platforms and operating systems.

In addition to the traditional package managers that are installed on a user’s computer, there are also cloud-based package managers that enable developers to manage their software dependencies in a cloud environment. These package managers, such as npm for Node.js, have become an essential part of modern web development.

As you may already know, “winget” is an exciting new package manager for Windows that has the potential to revolutionize the way we install and manage software on our machines. Winget is a package manager for Windows developed by Microsoft. It allows users to quickly discover, install, upgrade, and remove software packages from the command line or through a graphical user interface (GUI).

With winget, users can search for packages using keywords and install or update them with a single command. It also supports silent installation for automation purposes.

To use winget, you must have Windows 10 version 1809 or later installed and have the winget tool installed on your system. Winget can be downloaded and installed from the Microsoft Store or the GitHub repository. Below is a link to App Installer in the Microsoft store in case your system is missing winget.

App Installer – Microsoft Store Apps

Here are some examples of common winget commands:

  • winget search <package>: Search for a package by name or description.
  • winget install <package>: Install a package.
  • winget upgrade: Upgrade all installed packages to their latest versions.
  • winget show <package>: Show information about a package.
  • winget source: Manage package sources.

Overall, winget is a valuable tool for managing software on Windows, especially for developers and system administrators who need to manage many systems. I think WinGet is set to replace the legacy Windows Store and will be integrated with almost every Microsoft application management technology. This standardization means that packagers and system administrators must understand this technology’s deeper requirements and limitations as they modernize their application delivery infrastructure.

As we move towards a more cloud-based computing model, tools like winget will become increasingly important. By enabling us to install and manage software packages, winget will help to reduce the complexity and overhead associated with traditional software delivery methods by providing a more standardized delivery and installation method.

I believe that winget is the future of software delivery for Windows, and I encourage you to explore this exciting new technology to see how it can benefit your organization.

Use the winget tool to install and manage applications | Microsoft Learn