PortableApps launches Platform software update
PortableApps.com is a popular destination for portable versions of popular software programs for Windows. Users can download and install individual programs so that they may be used as portable versions, or download the PortableApps Platform application to manage these better.
You can use the Platform application to download and install new portable programs supported by PortableApps, to check for available updates, to backup files, and use it as a launcher application for portable programs.
While it may feel strange at first to install applications that are portable, the programs that you install individually or by using the Platform application are indeed portable in the end.
Platform 15 is the new version of the management application which users may download from the official PortableApps website or update from within the application.
PortableApps Platform 15.0
The Platform application offers better management options for programs that PortableApps supports.
While some users may prefer to download and install programs individually from the service, others may prefer to use the Platform application because of the functionality that it adds to the management of installed programs and options to search and download new programs.
The program acts as a launcher application for all portable programs as well. While not mandatory at all, you may find it useful especially if you place it on a USB Flash Drive or other removable media.
Platform 15.0 comes with new and improved features. If you use the program on High DPI device you will notice that it supports these better after the update. The program supports high DPI in the menu, options, about and other dialogs in version 15.0.
The new version detects high contrast themes automatically in the new version, and supports touch scrolling in the menu app list.
Other new features include support for Microsoft .NET Framework 2 to 4 applications, and alternate download options for Windows XP or Windows Vista devices for TLS 1.1 or 1.2 hosts.
Several components were updated in the new version: 7-Zip support was updated to version 18.05 which patches a security vulnerability among other things and the Delphi compiler to version 10.2.3. Windows 2000 is no longer supported by the Platform application as a consequence.
Platform users who used to hold down the Ctrl-key to launch programs with elevated rights will notice that the functionality is no longer available. You may right-click on any application to run it with elevated privileges, however.
Platform 15 is a major update of the PortableApps platform application that adds support for high DPI work environments and several other useful additions to the platform.
Now You: Do you use portable programs?
Thank you for the heads up.
The PortableApps platform version 15 is awesome, I have been using it since the first beta and they did a great job !
PortableApps platform is very cool. First time I tried it I was blown away how well-done it is. Nice way to keep your main system clean by running as much as you can in portable mode. Pop out your USB and it all goes with you.
I do not use portable applications, but under Windows 10 1803 I installed Platform 15 to see if it made a difference in the new GIMP 2.1.0 that runs slowly for me, and is missing a dll on its start. Platform 15 optionally installed the new GIMP 2.1.0 locally without error but without the ability to choose GIMP install options, as expected. This GIMP works better in terms of function choice, bit it’s even slower to do its functions than the normal install of GIMP I have been using.
From the article herein:
“Other new features include support for Microsoft .NET Framework 2 to 4 applications, and alternate download options for Windows XP or Windows Vista devices for TLS 1.1 or 1.2 hosts.”
This is the most interesting part.
Would this mean that one may use .NET Framework applications without installing Microsoft .NET Framework?
Would this mean that applications that rely on operating system support for TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2 work on operating systems without TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2 support (Pre-Windows Vista operating systems)?
The addition of .NET apps means we’re adding .NET apps to our app directory for automatic portable app installs and updates. We’re including apps that run on both .NET 2 and .NET 4 so that they work with any current, supported version of Windows (7 and up) as well as Vista since all of those versions of Windows will run the app out of the box without users needing to install a framework as an admin.
The TLS 1.1/1.2 workaround lets Windows XP/Vista users download our apps that are normally hosted on SourceForge and other hosts that only support TLS 1.1+ connections from a backup download server we maintain. That way Windows XP/Vista users can still get our apps.
Thank you John T. Haller for responding here.
From what I remember Windows Vista does support TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2. Windows Internet Explorer may, however, need a post-Service Pack 2 update to utilize it.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 have Microsoft .NET Framework automatically installed on the operating system (for Windows Vista by default, only versions 2.0 is pre-installed, and 3.0 is optional) in the default configuration of their installation sources for the common variants of those operating systems. The Microsoft .NET Framework is still not guaranteed to be present on Windows Vista or Windows 7 that there installations or installation sources have been customized, or for which the .NET Framework has been removed (often manually) after the operating systems have been installed. On Windows XP family operating systems, it may also be more common to not have Microsoft .NET Framework installed in the first place.
So, has the portability of the .NET Framework dependency been resolved (through virtualization, for example) so that it not need be locally be installed on the end system? If not, are the apps marked such that they are indicated as not truly portable or having a dependency?
Windows Vista can only gain TLS 1.1/1.2 support by applying a patch intended for Windows Server or manually manipulating the registry. In my testing, it fails to allow Windows components to make TLS 1.1/1.2 connections.
There are .NET apps that list in their config they run on both .NET 2 and 4 like KeePass 2. These run out of the box on Vista through 10. If a user has manually disabled .NET, they will not run. Similarly, if a user has manually disabled IE it in some versions of Windows, it will break Windows networking components and cause the PortableApps.com Platform to fail to download anything. We do not do any virtualization. The platform checks for .NET 2 and 4. If neither are available, it alerts the user.
Out of curiosity, I have tested Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 2 without any additional updates or registry changes in a virtual machine. It would seem that the operating system does not have TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2 support without a post-Service Pack 2 update., It is worth noting, however, that Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 and without other updates does have support for Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) which is used by some applications’ to complete their otherwise partially implemented TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2 support (Chromium web browser, for example).
My understanding is that PortableApps Platform is itself portable and intended to install and manage portable applications. .NET applications are not truly portable. A particular concern I have is that a .NET application may be installed via PortableApps Platform without providing adequate notice or indication that the app is not fully portable or depends on .NET Framework. It is important that good notice be given about the .NET Framework dependencies. PortableApps Platform may be used to install .NET application while running on a computer that has .NET Framework installed, then fail to have them usable when the platform is relocated to a computer that does not have .NET Framework installed. Without proper notice, a user of the PortableApps Platform may have come to rely to his or her determent on the portability of software installed via the platform, then unexpectedly not be able to use the software or perform tasks that require the software.
I think I shall try PortableApps Platform.
The unofficial way to get TLS 1.1/1.2 support in Windows Vista is outlined here:
As mentioned above, we currently only offer .NET apps that work out of the box on Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 without the user needing to install a .NET framework. The platform checks to ensure that either .NET 2 or 4 is available on the local machine automatically for Windows XP users. We will in the future offer .NET apps that do not support all modern versions of Windows by default but will list these separately and they will likely be hidden by default with an option to show or hide them.
I tried their platform long time ago. After the uninstallation all my default devices icons were removed to be replaced by the generic icons for unknown files. Fortunately I had made a backup. In conclusion the PortableApps platform is not portable. So no thanks.
On install, the PortableApps.com Platform will place an autorun.inf in the root of the portable device you are installing to. When you uninstall, you can delete this autorun.inf file from the device to reset the icon. Windows may not refresh the icon until you eject and reinsert or restart depending on the drive due to the way Windows caches device icons. We’re sorry this wasn’t clearer when you tried out our software.
@John T. Haller: Thanks for the explanation. However for me a real portable application should not change anything on Windows. After closing or in this case “uninstalling” a portable app, things must return exactly as it was. So your explanation will not change my mind.
You just missed a file on your portable drive when you uninstalled is all. Or failed to refresh the view by ejecting and reinserting. No changes were made to Windows or the local machine at all.
First it was not portable drives but partitions on internal disks. Then until you’ll give the choice to not change my icons I will not use your platform sorry.
There’s a remote possibility you’ve done something wrong when millions are happy with it ;)
Have picked up many portable apps at portableapps.com an as of yet have never used their platform application, really should remedy that.
Please give it a try. If you install your apps standalone to a PortableApps directory in the root of C:\, your portable drive, your cloud drive (DropBox, Google Drive, etc), or your user profile in Windows (C:\Users\USERNAME), you can add the platform in without moving them and the platform will detect them all and be able to manage them all. And, if you decide to stop using the platform later, you can just delete the PortableApps.com directory in the PortableApps directory and the Start.exe in the parent directory and all your apps will keep on running standalone.
I use PortableApps with great success. So much so that I hardly run any installed apps anymore, most all are of a “portable” variety. Why mess up the registry if you don’t have to?