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Windows Installer overview

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Windows Installer overview

Windows Installer is a component of the Windows operating system that simplifies the application installation process.

Windows Installer manages the installation and removal of applications by applying a set of centrally defined setup rules during the installation process. You can also use this service to modify, repair, or remove an existing application. Windows Installer technology consists of the Windows Installer service for the Windows operating systems and the package (.msi) file format that contains information about application set up and installation.

Windows Installer is also an extensible software management system. It manages the installation, addition, and deletion of software components, monitors file resiliency, and maintains basic failure recovery with rollbacks. Windows Installer supports installing and running software from multiple sources, and developers can customize Windows Installer to install custom applications.

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