I am a huge fan of Microsoft App-V. I spent many years working on projects to implement it for organizations across industry verticals and learned so much from working with it. I am sad that it will be end of life in 2026. There has been speculation that support will be extended, but I am not so sure as the product has only been receiving maintenance fixes for some time with no new features forthcoming.
The good news is Microsoft launched a new product called MSIX in 2018 and there is a batch conversion script on the TechCommunity site to help you automate conversion from App-V to MSIX. The bad news is the rate of compatibility of MSIX. At the time of writing this, the compatibility rate is lower than App-V. Thus, not all of your sequenced App-V packages will successfully convert to MSIX right now.
At Numecent, we love MSIX. We feel Microsoft’s direction into containers validates our own with our Cloudpaging technology. Cloudpaging containers have a higher rate of compatibility than MSIX and App-V. In fact. We have customers who have yet to find an application in their estate they can’t deliver with Cloudpaging. Drivers, COM+ component services, and other application components that don’t work with many other products are not an issue when you use Cloudpaging.
We are hopeful more vendors will embrace MSIX as a format in the near future, just as Mozilla have done with their Firefox MSIX package, and look forward to our customers getting the benefits of MSIX including high performance, streamlined deployments, and clean application removals. While not all apps can be delivered with MSIX today and not all your existing App-V packages can be converted to MSIX today, we believe we offer the best path forward for Windows Administrators with our product: Cloudpager.
Cloudpager is the first and only container management platform for Windows desktops. Of course, you can deploy and manage our Cloudpaging Containers with Cloudpager. That’s a given BUT we also enable you to deploy and manage MSIX and App-V packages. If you want to deploy MSIX packages as vendors begin to supply them, you can deploy them with Cloudpager. Want to try to convert your App-V packages to MSIX? You can easily deploy App-V packages converted to MSIX with Cloudpager, as well as those you cannot convert. For those that cannot be converted to MSIX, you have the option to convert them to Cloudpaging containers instead.
There are many benefits to using the Cloudpaging container format, but we wont lock you into the format (we’d still like to tempt you with what we believe is the best solution though).
Why convert your App-V applications to Cloudpaging?
With our Cloudpaging containers you gain:
- Unparalleled rate of application compatibility, enabling you to package and dynamically provision applications, enabling you to achieve a single golden image.
- Rapid application provisioning. Our lightweight client publishes and deploys applications quickly and efficiently with asynchronous multi-threaded processing of applications. You will not have to wait 15+ minutes or experience a slow and staggered publishing of your applications.
- Improved application performance, thanks to our unique prefetch feature that can capture part of the applications first launch to accelerate launch times. Cloudpaging not only speeds up publishing times but also application launch times. Cloudpaging containers speed up delivery of applications by paging them as needed to users. Cloudpaging can be further optimized by utilizing prefetch, multisource, and precaching technologies.
- Simplified migration of legacy applications to modern OS. Cloudpaging containers enable you to seamlessly lift and shift legacy applications to modern operating systems, accelerating your modernization efforts.
- Flexibility to integrate to profile management products of your choice – such as FSLogix profile containers – use native Windows Roaming profiles, or augment local profiles with a roaming user sandbox.
- Cloudpaging CAEs provide continuity for any App-V applications that run a script in the Deployment or User configuration files by enabling you to execute those VBscript and PowerShell scripts.
Why use Cloudpager over the App-V Full Infrastructure?
App-V Full Infrastructure provides a great method for publishing and unpublishing App-V packages to your users and groups. That said, Cloudpager not only provides continuity for your existing App-V packages but breathes new life into them, assuming you choose to not convert them to Cloudpaging.
With Cloudpager you get:
- A cloud-native solution for deploying your App-V packages to your on-premises and remote endpoints. This is something you can’t do with the App-V Full Infrastructure or even natively in Intune at this time.
- Accelerated App-V delivery by simply creating a local network share to host a copy of all of your application containers.
- Dynamic provisioning of App-V packages directly to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) users or groups.
- Workpods: a feature that lets you assign various containers together including App-V packages to auto-deploy all applications your users need directly to their desktops, regardless of the type of physical or virtual Windows desktop they are using (e.g., physical laptops, VDI, or DaaS).
- The ability to assign multiple versions of an App-V package with different configuration files and assign the appropriate configurations via different Workpods.
Whilst Cloudpager cannot improve the performance of the App-V client itself, Cloudpager does greatly streamline the process for publishing your App-V packages.
You don’t need to worry about life after App-V, we’ve got you covered. You can deploy your App-V packages with Cloudpager today to get all of the great benefits as listed above, you can attempt to migrate to MSIX and we’ll help you deploy and manage those too or you can convert to Cloudpaging Containers to reap the benefits of using the best container platform for Windows desktop applications.
Take a deep dive into our App-V blog series, if you haven’t already. Also, let us know what real-world examples you would like to learn about on Twitter or LinkedIn.