a few weeks ago, a customer wrote to me saying that App-V is to go out of support in 2026 after all. 2026? Where did the new date come from? There was the problem that many thought App-V was going out of support in 2025 because the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) had been announced for that date. The MDOP includes, among other things, the App-V infrastructure for distributing App-V packages to endpoints. But the App-V client itself was integrated into the operating system starting with Windows 10 1607 (at that time also in Windows Server 2016). App-V packages can also be distributed by other means (PowerShell) or another deployment method like Endpoint Configuration Manager. So nothing to worry about.
Sebastian Gernert has already written a blog post on the App-V topic in 2019, in which he addresses some of the points raised. In his blog post "But what about App-V?": Sebastians Blog
Sebastian explains the importance of App-V and its integration into the operating system. He emphasizes that the App-V client has been integrated into the operating system since Windows 10 1607 and is therefore subject to the Windows lifecycle. This means that support for the App-V client will continue to be provided in accordance with the respective Windows lifecycle. Sebastian also emphasizes that despite the end of MDOP and the shift in focus to MSIX, App-V remains an important technology for application virtualization and many customers continue to rely on it.
Now a new current "end date" for the MDOP has been announced somewhat unattractively:
This text says that "Application Virtualization" (App-V) will reach its End-of-Life (EOL) in April 2026. This means that no more updates, patches or support for this technology will be offered after that date. Instead, the author recommends looking at Azure Virtual Desktop with MSIX App Attach as a possible alternative to application virtualization. Clicking on that very link, however, again lands us at MDOP: Link
I've been working in the App-V environment since the beginning and this misconception in particular has killed many a project. When an "expert" at a customer says App-V is EOL and you should rather do it with MSIX, that is simply wrong. MSIX may be suitable for many things, but it still has compatibility issues that have long been solved in App-V.
Still, I wanted to get some clarity. So I checked with Sebastian, with whom we have organized several "Modern Application Deployment" (M.A.D.) events together. He confirmed that the App-V client, for example, will be supported in Windows Server 2022 until October 2031 (Windows Lifecycle). The April 2026 date refers only to the MDOP components. However, Sebastian also said that after 2026 there may be other operating systems from Microsoft that no longer support App-V. I personally don't like to believe in this, because many big customers use App-V. So in my opinion, they can't get out until MSIX becomes much more compatible. For compatibility issues with MSIX, see MSIX_Report_Card_22H2 by Tim Mangan.
Sebastian further pointed out that there is no official clarification from Microsoft yet, which leads to uncertainty among customers. Some customers are deciding to move to MSIX or other solutions, while others are more relaxed and don't want to make decisions for several years. Sebastian recommends customers to act prudently and only invest resources and money in alternative solutions when it is really necessary.
App-V and Azure
It is important for me to emphasize that App-V is also useful for Azure. However, it is confusing that Microsoft refers to Azure Virtual Desktop and MSIX App Attach rather than continuing with the App-V client. For example, in the case that a package doesn't work with MSIX, perhaps a workaround "package" can be built with App-V.
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.