Windows 10 Enterprise May 2020 update includes promised support for MSIX App Attach

Microsoft is enabling more Windows Virtual Desktop users to try out MSIX App Attach in public preview.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

When Microsoft announced its Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) spring 2020 refresh in April, one promised piece was missing from its checklist: MSIX App Attach. Officials at that time declined to say when and how this touted new feature would be available. It turns out it's here, in public preview now, for those with the Windows 10 May 2020 (2004) Enterprise feature update.

MSIX App Attach enables users to skip having to maintain multiple master images for different applications and/or the ability to package all their virtualized apps into a single image. App Attach enables packaged applications to be stored outside a virtual machine so that each application can attach itself when users need it. It's a step beyond traditional app layering and app streaming, according to Microsoft execs, and is a key piece of Microsoft's strategy to separate user data, apps and the underlying operating system

By adding App Attach, MSIX, the Windows packaging format Microsoft has been pushing for the past couple of years, gets more useful in virtualized environments like WVD. It's all about separating applications from the images, which means less re-imaging required; same package formats across an entire organization; and apps becoming indistinguishable from apps in the OS image, as described in this post by Christiaan Brinkhoff, a Global Black Belt for WVD at Microsoft (and former FSLogix employee).

Microsoft officials have been oddly cagey about the availability of MSIX App Attach -- a feature they discussed at the Ignite 2019 conference last fall. The feature was released in private preview last year and the stated goal was to enable the feature as part of the May 2020 feature update. Yet until late last week, details on exactly what was coming when were scarce.

On May 28, the day after Microsoft officials announced they were https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-windows-10-may-2020-update-is-starting-to-roll-out-to-mainstream-users/, Microsoft officials said the App Attach public preview would be available to those with Windows 10 Enterprise.

On June 2, officials noted the public preview of Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session -- which makes using MSIX App Attach even easier -- is now available. The new image is in the Azure Image Gallery.

VMWare is adding the ability to deliver MSIX App Attach packages from within App Volumes 4. Other Microsoft partners such as Liquit, Liquidware and Rimo3 have committed to supporting MSIX and MSIX App Attach, as well, officials said. 

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