It has always been a bit cumbersome to install software on windows:
- you need to google the URL
- surf around the homepage of the producer to find the download link
- download it
- install it - navigate through all kinds of different UIs
- and hope you have satisfied all dependencies of this program
this is boring especially if you have to do this more often in multiple VMs...
On the same hand i love the new AppStore on my Apple machine - you immediately get accustomed to use this tool to find/install software.
Chocolatey claim to be a machine package manager, somewhat like apt-get, but built with Windows in mind. It is based on the great nuget. Chocolatey claim to deal with dependencies and has configured around 600 packages - if you browse through their directory you will find a lot of your favourite programs :)
For example i installed curl on my machine with this simple command:
the only UI interaction that can happen is if the UAC is enabled and you have to actually confirm that this piece of software should be installed. so for fresh VMs you can easily create a batch-file that sets up your machine in virtually no time automatically.
I think thats a great idea - although i had some issues like this:
Could not connect to the feed specified at 'http://chocolatey.org/api/v2/'. Please verify that the package source (located in the Package Manager Settings) is valid and ensure your network connectivity.
or some package that isnt working (like the WindowsLiveWriter package i tried to install). But considering that this is still beta and also is a community effort i can live with this restrictions ;)