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Microsoft Previews MSIX App Attach for Windows Virtual Desktop

Microsoft this week indicated in an announcement that the MSIX App Attach capability in the Windows Virtual Desktop service can now be tried via a preview of the Windows 10 Enterprise Multisession operating system.

Microsoft's Tuesday announcement was rather low key. It doesn't appear on the Windows Virtual Desktop Microsoft Tech Community main landing page. An article by veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley had a link to it

MSIX App Attach is notable for eliminating the need to maintain master images of applications when using the Windows Virtual Desktop service, per the announcement:

MSIX app attach enables the dynamic delivery of MSIX applications. With MSIX app attach, you no longer need to maintain multiple master images for different applications or package all applications into a single image. The Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session 2004 makes it even easier to use MSIX app attach.

Users can get the MSIX App Attach preview in the Windows 10 Enterprise Multisession OS preview, which can be found in the "Azure Image Gallery," Microsoft's announcement indicated.

Microsoft also announced partner support for using MSIX App Attach. VMware is working with Microsoft to "bring the MSIX format to App Volumes 4" interface. Liquit and Liquidware already support MSIX and MSIX App Attach in their solutions. Rimo3 is working on support, too.

MSIX App Attach is still at the preview stage since its debut back in November. Microsoft's App Attach technology stores application packages outside a virtual machine, offering greater flexibility for managing apps used with Microsoft's Windows Virtual Desktop service. MSIX, on the other hand, is Microsoft's newest mainline technology for packaging apps, replacing the AppX and MSI formats. MSIX enables customizations without having to repackage apps.

The MSIX App Attach preview apparently marries those two technologies.

Since the MSIX App Attach solution is still at the preview stage, there's no Microsoft support behind using it in production environments, Microsoft explained in this "Setup" document:

MSIX app attach is currently in public preview. This preview version is provided without a service level agreement, and we don't recommend using it for production workloads. Certain features might not be supported or might have constrained capabilities. For more information, see Supplemental Terms of Use for Microsoft Azure Previews.

Windows Virtual Desktop is a virtual desktop infrastructure service that was commercially released back in September. It allows organizations to access an Azure-based Windows 10 or Windows 7 desktop OS remotely, along with associated applications. Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 licensing is required to use the service.

Windows 10 Enterprise Multisession is at the heart of Microsoft's Windows Virtual Desktop service. It allows multiple Windows 10 desktops to be run on a single virtual machine, which greatly enhances the economics of using the Windows Virtual Desktop service. In contrast, when opting to use Windows 7 with the Windows Virtual Desktop service, a single desktop runs on single virtual machine.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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