No joke – WiX will NOT Ship with Visual Studio
Several months ago, Microsoft had announced that the next version of Visual Studio (Visual Studio 2010, code name Rosario) will ship with a subset of the Windows Installer XML Toolkit (WiX). But on April 1st, 2009, Rob Mensching, the WiX project lead, had bad news to announce on his blog: “Visual Studio will not ship the WiX toolset, contributes only”.
Given the date, and since Microsoft officially had announced WiX in Visual Studio and CTP pre-releases of Rosario included WiX, I assumed that this was an April Fool’s joke. Unfortunately, it is not.
I don’t know what the exact reasons were for this unexpected decision, so I can’t really judge. But I think that it’s a lose-lose situation. Visual Studio won’t ship with an advanced Windows Installer authoring tool. And the open source WiX project won’t be “blessed” as a product that’s backed by Microsoft support.
The good news is that WiX will continue to work with and integrate in Visual Studio, and that the work that the Visual Studio team has contributed to the WiX project isn’t lost but will help to finalize WiX 3.0.
Let’s hope that the disappointment that this decision probably has caused in the team will not stop their enthusiasm.