Microsoft is adding a native Windows Package Manager to Windows 10 soon, but it’s limited to a command line interface instead of an easy to use GUI. While many will be happy to just be able to install apps from the command line, Tweeten developer Mehedi Hassan has created winstall — a web app that uses Microsoft’s package manager to let you create app packs to bulk install all of your favorite Windows applications.
It’s ideal for developers who regularly switch PCs, enthusiasts who like to format Windows after every major update, or just anyone else who wants to quickly set up a new machine. The winstall site lets you pick from premade packs, or create and share your own list of apps. That could be a pack of gaming apps that includes Steam, Discord, Twitch, Origin, Uplay, and many more, or a list of productivity apps like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
Winstall is similar to Ninite, but it includes a much larger selection of Windows apps thanks to the fact it uses Microsoft’s own Windows Package Manager. Microsoft is curating and managing this list of apps from verified sources, and the package manager will eventually be built into Windows. For now, you’ll need to sign up to access the preview version here to get it working.
Once Microsoft’s package manager is fully baked into Windows then you won’t need anything installed on a PC to get winstall working, nor do you even need to download an app. Winstall generates scripts that can be copied and pasted into the Windows command prompt, or you can download the bat or PowerShell script and run it on a new machine.
Ninite is one of our favorite Windows apps for quickly installing a bunch of necessary apps, but Microsoft’s package manager simply offers a far larger selection of more than 900 apps. Combined with winstall, it’s starting to get closer to the Windows Store I’ve always wanted with a wide selection of desktop apps and an easy way to bulk install them.