Last week, Microsoft officially announced the final version of Windows Package Manager, also known as Winget. First introduced at Build 2020, Winget is now publicly available as version 1.0 on all supported Windows 10 versions. Also, the software giant plans to make Winget part of Windows 10 soon.
As usual with any app-distributing platform, Winget faces some specific problems and issues. Except for the allegation of stealing the project without credit to the original developer, Microsoft now needs to resolve the malformed application submission issue. Users and developers are already reporting seeing lots of duplicates manifests for existing apps. Unlike Apple's App Store (or any curated software marketplace,) it is quite easy for anyone to submit an app to Winget. Microsoft does not review each manifest (they only go through a set of not-so-strict automatic checks.) Thus many "developers" managed to get their submissions with non-official links, poor manifests, incorrect names, etc. Moreover, sometimes, to worsen the experience even more, poorly made manifests overwrite good ones. This situation frustrates potential users and diminishes any trust in Winget's reliability and credibility.
Luckily, Microsoft is aware of the problem and works hard to fix it. According to Microsoft's PM Demitrius Nelon, the company has already ceased automatic merging. From now, the Windows Package Manager team will start manually reviewing each submission to ensure quality and avoid duplication. Besides, Microsoft has almost finished developing a "verified publishers" policy that will allow submitting new manifests faster for trusted authors. Finally, the company is working on a set of criteria for one to become a moderator. Microsoft is looking for developers and enthusiasts with a history of successful submissions and those providing continuous support for other community members.
It is worth mentioning that all these rules are a "work in progress" and subject to change. Still, it is nice to see Microsoft attempting to fix one of the main issues with such a long-awaited tool for Windows. If you have some ideas on how the company can improve Winget, you can always contribute to the official Windows Package Manager GitHub repository and share your thoughts with others.
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