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If you aren’t excited about Windows 10, you may want to revisit it because the upcoming operating system is shaping up to be a notable improvement in the Windows line. Not only will it make you more productive Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? It's official, the new Windows will be a perfect 10. Why Windows 10? Because Windows 7 8 (ate) 9. And here is what you will find inside the Technical Preview. Read More , but new Windows features are still being added Want New Windows Features? Share Your Ideas With Microsoft & Vote Want New Windows Features? Share Your Ideas With Microsoft & Vote Microsoft wants to know what you would like Windows to look like! Propose and review Windows features to shape the next version of Windows. Read More . One of the more interesting features is the OneGet Package Manager.

Technically, OneGet has been available for Windows 8.1 for users who install Windows Management Framework 5.0, but Windows 10 will be including OneGet by default as part of the system’s PowerShell package.

What Is A Package Manager?

One big draw of Linux and Unix-like systems is the prevalence of package management tools 5 Lies Linux-Haters Like To Tell 5 Lies Linux-Haters Like To Tell Linux may have been a scary operating system before, but all of that has changed in recent years. These myths, which are more accurately called lies, are now dead. Read More . Windows might be late to the party, but it’s better late than never because package management can seriously boost productivity, increase security, and ultimately save you a lot of headache.

A package is a collection of files and dependencies that make it possible to install and configure a certain piece of software for your system. A package manager is a tool that maintains a database of repositories where each repository is itself a collection of packages.

windows-oneget-package-manager-logo

The main benefit of a package manager is that it provides a singular tool for managing the software on your system. In the past, there have been third-party package managers for Windows Before The Windows Store - Package Managers & Software Repositories [Windows] Before The Windows Store - Package Managers & Software Repositories [Windows] App stores are everywhere these days. Whether you’re using iOS or Android, you can get all your apps from a single location and have them automatically update in a consistent way. If you’re using Mac... Read More and there have been tools for bundled software installation Ninite - Easily Install All Your Favorite Free Apps In One Go Ninite - Easily Install All Your Favorite Free Apps In One Go Read More , but having a Microsoft-endorsed package manager can centralize all of that effort in one place.

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Instead of having to navigate from website to website and downloading individual installers, you can handle it all through OneGet.

The Built-In Cmdlets

Using OneGet will require a bit of familiarity with PowerShell and cmdlets Boost Your Productivity With Windows PowerShell Scripts Boost Your Productivity With Windows PowerShell Scripts What if you could bring the productivity of Linux over to Windows? Most Linux distros come packaged with the powerful Bash shell. PowerShell is an equally powerful terminal for Windows. Read More , but have no fear if you don’t know what that means. The learning curve isn’t too steep and the effort is worth it. For those acquainted with PowerShell, here are the cmdlets related to the OneGet module:

windows-oneget-package-manager-cmdlets

The PackageSource cmdlets are used to add, remove, and view the repositories that are configured for OneGet. The Package cmdlets are used to Find available packages that are available in said repositories, Install and Uninstall particular packages, and Get a list of currently installed packages on your system.

Packages can contain extra data, such as version information, that can help improve security (e.g. confirming that a particular package is authentic) and make it easier to stay up to date (e.g. automatically installing new updates).

Don’t feel bad if all of this sounds too advanced or intimidating for you. In the future, Microsoft plans to incorporate a graphical interface that eases the entire process for those who aren’t familiar with the PowerShell command line.

Trusted Sources & Repositories

Have you ever downloaded a fake installer file that ended up introducing malware to your system? I’ll admit that I’ve fallen for that trick a few times in the past. That’s one of the issues inherent with installer files: if you aren’t tech-savvy, it can be difficult to know whether an installer file is authentic or not.

windows-oneget-package-manager-software-downloads

The repository system used by package managers — including but not limited to OneGet — is a much safer alternative. As long as you only use repositories that are known to be trusted, you can have peace of mind in knowing that you probably won’t have to deal with fake installers ever again.

Just to be clear, this isn’t a flawless system; there’s still an element of trust involved. Rather than trusting in each individual EXE that you download, you’re placing your trust in the people who curate and maintain each repository.

Third-Party Support

The beauty of the repository system is that no one entity has control over which packages can or cannot be included as part of OneGet. You can rely on the default repositories that come with OneGet if that’s enough for you, but you can also mix and match third-party repositories according to your needs.

windows-oneget-package-manager-software-installation

For example, if you work for a large corporation, upper management might decide to maintain a private repository full of packages that are only relevant to employees at that company. Another example could be a public repository of free software for digital artists. As long as there’s someone to maintain it, anything is possible.

Also, due to the extensible nature of PowerShell, the functionality of OneGet can be improved and extended with third-party cmdlets and scripts. Microsoft recently went open source with their .NET framework A GNU Beginning For Microsoft: What An Open Source .NET Framework Means For The Rest Of Us A GNU Beginning For Microsoft: What An Open Source .NET Framework Means For The Rest Of Us Microsoft just released a significant part of its code under a permissive open source license. This move breaks with years of tradition. But why and what does it mean for you? Read More , so that could mean good things for the future of PowerShell and OneGet.

Are You Excited For OneGet?

Relatively speaking, OneGet is still in its infancy and has a long way to go before it catches up to some of the more popular package managers for Linux. Still, the fact that Microsoft is working on OneGet is reason enough to be excited and I can’t wait to see how Windows 10 changes the landscape.

What about you? Is a package manager enough to get you excited? Or do you think it’s just a gimmick that will fizzle out sooner or later? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Image Credits: Install Progress Bar Via Shutterstock, Download Icons Via Shutterstock

  1. ininn
    March 19, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    I see a Windows package manager as a huge improvement over the giant Kludge for the system we are currently using at my office. We use a variety of 3rd party packaging apps that employee a swath of people to stare at screens blankly. I don't think any of them really know what they are doing other than interfacing with the application and run through configuration, and version patches in a neverending attempt to get the right mix of compatibilites to make the holy grail of universal installs for every occassion.

    • Joel
      March 20, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      I think corporate office environments will definitely benefit a lot from an official package manager. Hopefully people will spend less time fiddling with program management and have more time for other tasks!

  2. amir
    March 18, 2015 at 6:29 am

    MS is doing very good in recent years. although I did not use windows in last 6 years (I use OSX ) but I use win8 sometimes on my dad's laptop and i can say it is very good operating system. I am sure win10 will be a real good OS .Honestly I am not very satisfied with OSX 10 as much as i liked previous versions. so maybe it is time to back to windows . and for linux , I think there is no need to use linux when you can use windows and it is cheap or free even . in our life we spend lots of unwanted expenses ,so pay some for MS is also ok if they can give us hassle free and smooth OS .
    PS. Apple Failed !

    • Joel
      March 20, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      Wow, it seems like a rare opinion for someone to think Windows 8 is a good OS! Even rarer, somebody who's thinking of switching from Mac to Windows! If you like Windows 8, you'll probably love Windows 10. Keep an eye out for it because it should be releasing within the next few months! (Fingers crossed.)

  3. Stefan
    December 6, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Once I get better computer,I will try Windows 10 for sure.By the way,I heard somewhere(I think on howtogeek.com ) that alfa or beta versions of OneGet where tested on chocolatey repos(make that double "stealing").

  4. KT
    December 2, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I've been doing a lot of Linux installs for older friends and family with xp lately. Some of them want new pc's with Doze and I tell them to search for any remaining 7 pc's or wait for stable 10 pc's to launch.

  5. ChristopherT.
    November 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    This would sure make reinstallation a lot less involved. Run Windows Update, then install the latest versions of available packages (I'm assuming there's some way of listing installed packages and repositories, a la copying over the existing /etc/apt to the new install).

    Hey, Microsoft reinvented Synapitic!

    • dragonmouth
      November 30, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      "Hey, Microsoft reinvented Synapitic!"
      At least M$ will not be able to Embrace, Extend and Extinguish Synaptic.

  6. Travismangg
    November 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    As a response to dragonmouth you are right Linux is far ahead in package management, but Linux lacks support for their product and most times have to rely on internet searches and those with years of Linux experience to solve problems when they arise. I'd have to say I'm a huge fan of Linux but windows supports more of my needed apps for processing of business functions and general "play time" applications.

    In response to the question asked by the author of this story. I'd have to say being an avid Linux user and still a windows personal & business user..... It is about damn time Microsoft!! Lol looking forward to seeing what else they will incorporate from the Linux world into the world know as "Windows".

    • Joel Lee
      November 29, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Yes, exactly! Tech companies "steal" features from each other all the time and it's about time that Windows started learning from Linux. I wonder how long it'll be before Microsoft "steals" other nifty features like native multiple desktops?

  7. David
    November 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    It always takes me much longer to update my legacy Windows 7 box than to update my Fedora, even when I use something like sumo. I'm looking forward to this, assuming that I even upgrade to Windows X at all. Windows is noty primary operating system.

    I'd like to se Microsoft incorporate more BSD code and start speaking bzip2, gz, Z, tar, and 7z natively

  8. jason
    November 28, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Best feature on windows 10 so far! Can't wait to use it.

  9. Edy
    November 28, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Cool stuff. At home I'm using Windows, so I might just switch to 10 when the final comes out. I've been skipping a version since XP, so it'd be time... Vista was a bust, so was 8 & 8.1, so I guess it's time to install 10 :)

    • Joel Lee
      November 29, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      That seems to be Microsoft's pattern. Try something new and flop badly (ME, Vista, 8) then fix it all up into something worth using (XP, 7, 10). I really hope Windows 10 lives up to its hype.

  10. Budgieboy
    November 28, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Why wait for MS to catch up when you can have it all AND a graphical interface on ANY linux system :)

    • Tina
      November 28, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Cause it's Linux!?

    • Joel Lee
      November 29, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      There are valid reasons to stick with Windows and not move to Linux. OneGet is more for the people of the former. :)

  11. Jay
    November 28, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Or you can use Chocolatey which is available now: https://chocolatey.org/

  12. Loenja
    November 28, 2014 at 7:40 am

    awesome. Hoping for some 3rd party open source repositories

    • Joel Lee
      November 29, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Me too. I think a strong third-party community will be the deciding factor between OneGet's widespread adoption or its fall into obscurity.

  13. dragonmouth
    November 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Why would I want to use a Microsoft re-write of a Linux utility when I get to use the original?! And with Synaptic and other GUI front ends, I don't have to worry about memorizing terminal commands.

    "it’s better late than never because package management can seriously boost productivity, increase security, and ultimately save you a lot of headache."
    That depends on how it is implemented. If it is implemented as in Linux, then it will do all the things you say. If it is rewritten and implemented with the usual Microsoft attitude of "We know BETTER", then it will be a useless kludge full of security holes.

    "Is a package manager enough to get you excited? "
    Not about Windows.

    "Or do you think it’s just a gimmick that will fizzle out sooner or later?"
    I think it is a "me-too" copycat gimmick.
    Why does Windows need a "Package Manager" when it does not have packages in the Linux sense?

    One of the advantages Window Fans always claim over Linux is that in the former all tasks can be doen in a GUI. I this case, it is Linux that has the GUI and Windows that forces users to use CLI.

    • Joel Lee
      November 29, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      I think your thoughts are valid, except about the GUI part. I'm pretty sure Microsoft did mention something about a GUI for OneGet when Windows 10 is officially released. Otherwise, yeah, I don't suspect OneGet will be enough to convert Linux users to Windows. However, for Windows users who won't switch to Linux, this is great news.

    • PlaGeRaN
      December 1, 2014 at 9:08 am

      I agree with Dragonmouth, why is MS taking open source software, rebuilding and copyrighting it? Then sell it as an MS "Original Idea". They are fighting a loosing battle. Still majority of us PC Gamers will drop MS once hey have proper linux support ie: EA games etc

    • amir
      March 18, 2015 at 6:29 am

      MS is doing very good in recent years. although I did not use windows in last 6 years (I use OSX ) but I use win8 sometimes on my dad's laptop and i can say it is very good operating system. I am sure win10 will be a real good OS .Honestly I am not very satisfied with OSX 10 as much as i liked previous versions. so maybe it is time to back to windows . and for linux , I think there is no need to use linux when you can use windows and it is cheap or free even . in our life we spend lots of unwanted expenses ,so pay some for MS is also ok if they can give us hassle free and smooth OS .
      PS. Apple Failed !

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