Index.html not loading inside virgin cordova generated APPX app

Hey I’m trying to get an Ionic app to run on my Windows 10 VM.

ionic cordova run windows -- --appx=8.1-win

is compiling(?) an APPX file, which is starting up, but I’m just getting a blank screen. I used to get an error in Visual Studio saying it can’t load the index.html URL initially set, but now I don’t even get any console output anymore. Rather frustrating.

Brand new project created with ionic start. Had to use the CLI assistant as ionic start app-name sidemenu --type=angular doesn’t work at all. 6 hrs spent for nothing so far.

Maybe someone has any ideas.

P.S.: What is the difference between the APPX created and the good old EXE files? Left .NET/MS 13 years and I’m a bit out of the loop…

Thanks for the help