Invitation to Windows Installer Tools Vendors for a Live Meeting Event

We’d like to invite Windows Installer tools vendors to a Live Meeting event in the second half of May 2007.

At this event we’ll discuss the next step for the Windows Installer so you can consider the fit to your plans.

If you are an interested Windows Installer tools vendor, please click the “Email” link (here) and let us know.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is a Windows Installer tools vendor?
A1: Our target tools vendor provides products based on the Windows Installer platform technology.  Both ISVs and IT admins report they depend heavily on tools vendors. Windows Installer MVP Stefan Krueger maintains a representative list of our target tools vendors at

Q2: Why talk to Windows Installer tools vendors early?
A2: ISVs and IT admins both report their first step after hearing news from us is to contact their tools vendor.  We need a small amount of time to coordinate how ISVs and IT admins can realize benefits through their vendors.

Q3: Is a Non Disclosure Agreement required for a Windows Installer tools vendor to attend the event?
A3: There is an event disclosure agreement that says the tools vendor will not distribute the information from the event for a short length of time. 

[Author: Robert Flaming]

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. Use of included script samples are subject to the terms specified at

Comments (14)

  1. The Windows Installer team at Microsoft has posted a public invitation for MSI tools vendors to discuss

  2. The Windows Installer team at Microsoft has posted a public invitation for MSI tools vendors to discuss

  3. Looks like a new Windows Installer is in the works. Microsoft is inviting vendors who are interested

  4. Foi colocado no Windows Installer Team Blog uma chamada desenvolvedores interessados em contribuir com

  5. Why just vendors and not ISV’s?

    There are lots of ISV setup developers who have real with real-world user stories on what they need from the SDK.

  6. zhakim says:


    Fair questions.  A couple of threads here…

    Christopher: "…real world user stories…"

    Your blog is among the ones we watch for expert user stories.  Other ideas on how to aggregate real world user stories would be interesting to hear.  

    Christopher: "…need from the SDK…"

    The same team that works on the MSI core engine features also works on the MSI tools in the Platform SDK.  We generally prioritize the core engine investments over the SDK investments and have find most agree to this choice.

    Christopher: "…and not ISVs?"

    Most of the setup developers we’ve talked to work through tools vendors other than what’s available in the Platform SDK.  As the majority of ISVs will look to their tools vendors for guidance, we wanted to given them a bit of a head start to consider the MSI plans in advance of their ISV customers.

  7. Sorry, I think my use of the term `SDK` might have been overloaded and ambigious.  I actually was referring to core engine features and referring to SDK as the overall definition of Windows Installer.

    I’ve spent some time with several tools vendors regarding user stories, I guess my concern is that the information might not bubble up to Microsoft because the vendors decisions regarding featureset implementations and ROI justifications might not align with the ISV’s perspective.

    I’d love to see alot more community generated content without layers of filtration.  Perhaps this would help to identify additional installation stories that ISV’s need to have supported.

  8. My sources tell me that a presentation on MSI 4.5 has been given but no details provided.  When will this `event disclosure agreement` expire?  I can’t believe that Microsoft won’t share this information with it’s customers, the Windows Installer community.

  9. zhakim says:


    Thanks for the enthusiastic interest in the future plans for the Windows Installer.  

    The responsibility for the choice to announce I was talking to the Tools Vendors is mine.  In a spirit of openness, I choose to offer a notification of what is usually a closed conversation.  If one steps back a bit and considers other company to company efforts, say the highly anticipated iPhone and its chosen cellular service provider AT&T, most of these discussions do not choose to be open about their initiatives.  Perhaps the lesson for me is that openness in this regard is unwise.

    As I said in the earlier post, I needed “a small amount of time”.  I didn’t specify the specific amount of time I needed because I didn’t know how long it would take to stage the information more broadly.  It has taken more time than I expected.

    My sincere apologies for the wait.

    All the best,

    Robert Flaming

    Windows Installer PM

  10. Christopher Painter says:

    I’m sorry to give you such a hard time Robert, it’s just that Windows Installer isn’t just a product to me, it’s a platform that I base my entire career around.   Sure I use InstallShield to accelerate my development efforts, but I’m really using Windows Installer when I do so.  As a front line warrior in the trenches I often find my self working on stories that MSI and InstallShield both fail to support so it’s fustrating wondering if the real user needs are getting communicated.   We don’t always do it the `Microsoft Way` out in the field and I think the diversity of insite would be really beneficial to planning the future.

  11. Microsoft is working on two new versions of Windows Installer (MSI): Windows Installer 4.1 MSI 4.1 will

  12. Joe O'Sullivan says:

    I have to agree with what Christopher is saying, I use WiX, WISE, InstallShield, makeMSI and what ever will fit the bill for my customer.  It would be nice to see information that is coming up so we can at least feed back to our customers about changes which maybe coming etc. I understand fully where you are coming from Robert and in fact understand it completely, I just wanted to echo Christopher’s requests.

  13. The Windows Installer team is closing in on our Beta release of Windows Installer 4.5 so it’s time to

  14. Colby says:


    I just want to echo Chris’ statement about "vendors decisions regarding featureset implementations and ROI justifications might not align with the ISV’s perspective".  As someone who’s career also centers around MSI, I think it’s very important to get feedback from those of us using the vendor tools to support real-world MSI deployment scenarios for our ISV employers.  My guess is that most of the folks who only use one particular tool probably don’t have much experience with MSI and use the tool in question to ‘do the work for them’.  Those individuals aren’t the type who probably don’t worry about MSI functionality not supported by the tool (case in point right now is the very limited support for merge modules by one of the major players).  I’d like to see those of us familiar with MSI itself (not just using one or two vendor tools) and with a lot of deployment experience on multiple projects and different scenarios have more input into the direction that MSI is headed.  Thanks, Colby Ringeisen