Microsoft has just announced something pretty major during its Developer Day - MSIX is a new universal installer format for packaging apps. It supports all 25 different types of Windows applications including Win32, UWP, .net, WPF and Winform, essentially packaging them up into a new type of container.

What this means is that Microsoft can now theoretically can any type of application on the Windows Store including traditional Win32 programs. The vast majority of PC games are Win32 applications so this really could open the floodgates for bringing games over to the store. Its use won’t just be limited to the Windows Store though, and MSIX files can be shared through providers’ own content distribution networks.

What’s important here though is the unification Microsoft is going for. Rather than have dozens of different types of installers and containers for Windows, these can all be rolled into one. Microsoft claims it’s "The best technology for installing applications on Windows".

In essence, developers can package up absolute any Windows application into an MSIX installer and it will be ready to put on the Windows Store, or anywhere else for that matter.

This is a neat improvement from Microsoft, although it remains to be seen what caveats it entails. Fortunately, the code is all open source and MSIX is available to grab from GitHub right now.