MSI 3.0 (Update)

I finished the class Microsoft presented on MSI 3.0. It’s interesting stuff, but if you’re used to such things as RPM, it’s just catching up. Microsoft does have a nice feature coming out that is targeted to assist the gaming community. This new feature allows the original MSI installer to apply a certificate to the MSI. Updates following the MSI (MSI or MSP) can have the certificate installed too. If this is the case, the OS can allow the update to take place regardless of the users security level.  more…This is very convenient, though I believe that most gamers installing updates are probably admins anyway. This doesn’t, by the way, mean that the packages are encrypted by any means – that’s still in the works and due for Longhorn. Another thing with the patching; MSP’s can be applied all at once. When listing multiple MSP’s on the command-line, MSI 3.0 will automatically determine the order in which they should be installed. This action takes into account obsolescense and supercedence (where applicable). That is to say, if you applied a bunch of patches requiring service pack 1, then took out service pack 1, the patches would be defunct. MSI is intelligient enough to strip out the functionality of the patches, but keep them around until SP1 is reapplied. One other thing; Microsoft recommends applying MSP’s (patches) to the clients rather than using an administrative install location.
MSI 3.0 is apparently finished code, but won’t release until XP SP2 releases. If you’re on the beta, you’ve already got it! By the end of the year, Microsoft plans to have standardized on two different packaging solutions. One, for applications, will be based on MSI 3.0. The other, for operating systems, will be based on the update.exe seen in service packs. There will also be a consistent use of paramters to each of these.
All in all, Microsoft will be putting in some much needed innovation in to MSI 3.0. The really big stuff is supposed become reality for Longhorn – I guess we’ll ahve to wait a little longer (again).

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