Windows 8 includes an updated version of Powershell which supports AppX distribution.
Windows PowerShell is Microsoft’s task automation framework, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language built on top of, and integrated with the .NET Framework. PowerShell enables administrators to perform administrative tasks on both local and remote Windows systems.
AppX is Microsoft’s new method for packaging and deploying applications in Windows 8. It is believed that Microsoft is preparing an application model codenamed “Jupiter”. The model would allow developers to create native applications that can be easily deployed using AppX packaging.
The latest leaked build of Windows 8, 7989, includes Powershell 3. Microsoft has also included a new AppX module to allow system admins and power users to deploy Microsoft’s new .AppX wrapped applications. The Powershell AppX module contains the following cmdlets:
The cmdlets are basic at this stage and simply allow administrators to deploy and remove AppX applications alongside listing their properties.
Microsoft appears to be altering the main method of deploying and installing AppX packages in Windows 8. “InstallAppX.exe is being depreciated,” reads a warning. “It will be removed from the product on or about 4/22.”
Microsoft recommends that developers switch to MakeAppX.exe and the new Powershell AppX module. Microsoft’s new Powershell 3 version appears to include all the typical modules and cmdlets from previous versions.
It’s not clear what enhancements have been made to Powershell 3.0 at this stage and there’s no release notes or support documentation that reveals any additional features from the 2.0 version.