MSI VS MSIX: all pros and cons

When Microsoft launched MSIX in 2018, the company thought that this application packaging format would become the most popular one. However, MSI continues to be widely used nowadays.  

Here are a few pros and cons of these two application packaging formats. You can find more detailed information on MSI and MSIX in this complete side-by-side comparison guide & chart. 


Pros of MSI: 
Cons of MSI: 
  • Self-healing
  • Few limitations on alterations at the low level 
  • Consistent standards for silent package deployment 
  • easy package upgrade and replacement management
  • supported by multiple versions of Windows
  • accepted by major deployment systems
  • allows installation via a shortcut 
  • prevents the deletion of common files used by other apps 
  • File size limitations — it has 2GB per one file limitation on the number of components.
  • Security issues. Interactions with the low level can lead to a potential security threat. 
  • Non-mandatory signature validation. Users can install packages without signatures, which might contain malware or damage the system.
  • Possible issues with MSP (patch) installation.

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MSIX was announced by Microsoft for Windows 10 applications. It allows the creation of secure and high-performing apps
Pros of MSIX: 
Cons of MSIX: 
  • creates strict isolation of an app and the operating system 
  • predictable & simple installations 
  • disc space optimization by illuminating file duplicates
  • network optimization abilities for streaming installs and app updates
  • has an inventory for changes tracking 
  • DLLHell and WinROT elimination, OS &app update decoupling.
  • limitations on changes on the low level of the system
  • impossible to run apps that need admin access. 

PACE Suite is an intelligent tool that allows app packagers to create and edit MSI, MSIX, AppX, App-V, ThinApp, and IntuneWin packages as well as automate quality, safety & deployment readiness checks.


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