Will WinUI 3 for desktop apps support single file deployment and distribution outside of ms store?

Peter Zdravkov 1 Reputation point
2021-02-07T16:15:04.093+00:00

I am in the process of deciding what platform to use for a desktop application I want to develop and then distribute from a website as a normal consumer piece of software, not something restricted to MS Store and then heavily limited for installs outside of it(Side-loading).

I was going to use WPF, however its UI looks very outdated, even with extensions. For that reason I checked out WinUI 3 as it seems to be the perfect solution, modernized UWP looking UI controls and win32 app functionality that supports .net 5 development. I downloaded the preview version along with VS 16.9 preview. From the documentation, I gathered that you could only package a WinUI 3 desktop app using msix which would not let me distribute the app on a personal website. After loading in a project, I decided to check and click once deployment seems to be an option, however, I could not get it to work.

Could someone confirm that you should or should not be able to package WinUI 3 desktop apps as a self-contained file and distribute it yourself?

Windows Presentation Foundation
Windows Presentation Foundation
A part of the .NET Framework that provides a unified programming model for building line-of-business desktop applications on Windows.
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  1. Peter Zdravkov 1 Reputation point
    2021-02-07T16:40:28.447+00:00

    I am replying to this as I saw some people are following the question. I was just reading a blogpost and saw this

    Correct. WinUI3.0 requires an App Id, so the project templates already create a packaging project. It is on the roadmap for a future version, post-3.0, to support non-MSIX deployment.

    So yes, non MS Store deployment will be possible apparantly, just not now.

    Here is the link:
    https://devblogs.microsoft.com/pax-windows/winui-3-preview-3/#comments

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