I decided to upgrade my Windows laptop to Windows 11 yesterday. It was an awful slog, replete with many failed Windows Update attempts, permissions issues that prevented me from changing the necessary diagnostic data sharing settings, and even a hardware firmware update. I ended up having to “reset” Windows—which deleted all my apps, data, and settings—to move forward.
However, hours later, once Windows had finally gotten all of its updates in, I had the opportunity to use Winget for the first time. Winget is Microsoft’s command line package manager. Although not as mature as the package manager I am most familiar with, APT, Winget is pretty awesome. I was able to use it from the Windows CMD shell (because Windows Terminal does not come pre-installed) to install everything I needed, from Visual Studio Code to Vim to NextDNS. It saved me a ton of time. If I set up new Windows machines frequently, I could write a script to automate all of it.
It is interesting to see all the developer- and administrator-friendly enhancements Microsoft has made to Windows over the past few years. Windows Terminal, Winget, and Visual Studio Code are miles ahead of what Microsoft offered just a few years ago.