It feels strange that Microsoft never managed to integrate a package manager into the Windows operating system. Npackd is a free Windows package manager that aids the user in discovering, installing, updating and uninstalling applications.
Npackd, which is pronounced unpacked, queries a server on the Internet on startup to retrieve the latest application database. It populates a table with those information that includes the application's title, description, version and information whether the application is installed on the system, and if it is if it was installed externally or from within Npackd.
The package manager can only manage files that have been installed from the application interface which means that it is not possible to update or uninstall programs that have not been installed using Npackd.
A search form and filter is available on the left. It is for instance possible to only display installed or not installed applications.
A click on the install button at the top installs any selected application on the system. Uninstalls and updates work in a similar fashion.
The application list offers 424 applications at the time of writing, of which some are listed with multiple versions. some of the popular programs include iTunes, utorrent, Winamp, Wireshark, Imgburn, Foxit Reader, Firefox or Dropbox.
All applications are freely available. The installation and uninstallation is completely automated and requires no user interaction.
Programs are listed with status information, installed applications are listed as installed, updates are indicated with the update status and so on.
A link to the homepage of each software is listed in the program database as well. A click on go to package page opens the homepage of the selected application in the default web browser.
It is currently not possible to selected multiple applications for installation. Options to display specific application categories or to create application profiles that can be exported and imported could improve the application further.
That aside, using Npackd is still a lot faster than installing programs manually on the operating system. Interested users can download Npackd from its Google Code project page.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.