Microsoft to "productize" WiX
Rob Mensching reports that Microsoft will include a sub-set of the Windows Installer XML toolkit (WiX) in the next version of Visual Studio, code named Rosario. WiX is an open source project for authoring of Windows Installer (MSI) setups. While Microsoft employees played an important role in the WiX project from the beginning, they did this in their free time.
But now Microsoft staffed a number of full time developers to fix bugs in WiX version 3 and to further improve its integration in Visual Studio. The work of these developers will be fed back into the open source project. With the release of "Rosario" (not before the end of 2008) Microsoft will also provide technical support for WiX.
However WiX will not replace Setup & Deployment projects in Visual Studio - at least not in this release. That's because WiX has a steep learning curve and there are currently no visual designers for WiX. So I guess a significant fraction of developers is still going to prefer the seemingly easy to use (but also quite limited) S & D projects.
Maybe it would be a good idea to have these visual designers generate WiX code, so developers can easily move to the full power of WiX when needed, without starting over. Something like the ClickThrough idea in WiX.
Applause to the WiX team who brought the project thus far (and plans to bring it even further), to the Visual Studio team for moving into the right direction, and to Microsoft for progressing their open source engagement (which I believe was not easy for the company, and in which Rob Mensching also played an important role)!