Microsoft today shared some more details about the Windows Store coming as part of Windows 10, which it previously revealed would be unified to work across all types of Windows devices (phones, tablets, and PCs). The company unveiled features specific to businesses and promised that they would arrive in Windows 10 previews released next year.
First up, Microsoft is promising organizations will get access to a new web-based Store portal (signing in will occur using Azure Active Directory identities). IT administrators will be able to browse the app catalog and acquire apps in bulk. Furthermore, it will be possible to assign apps acquired through the portal to people in the organization, who in turn will only need to click on a link to install them.
Large organizations that run their own private company portal with a catalog of apps (usually via System Center Configuration Manager and hosted on an internal network) are getting some interesting features as well. It will be possible to display Windows Store apps acquired through the new Store portal within a private company portal, with API-level integration between management tools and the Windows Store. That means full details of the apps, including descriptions, requirements, icons, and so on will be accessible.
Smaller organizations that do not have the infrastructure to create their own company portal will be able to create their own private section within the Windows Store for their own apps. These include apps that have been acquired through the Store portal or their own uploaded custom line of business apps. Employees will thus be able to browse a customized Windows Store and install apps only from a selection chosen for them by their company.
Last but not least, Windows 10 will let organizations fully control Windows Store features and distribution using System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, or via mobile device management (MDM) services. They will be able to install and uninstall apps, control app updates, manage and reassign app licenses, as well as download app installation files and include them in custom Windows images.
Microsoft is asking businesses to sign up for the Windows Insider Program but notes that the Store portal as well as the new app distribution and management capabilities will only be available “in the coming months.” While you wait, watch the second half of this video for a glimpse of the features (the app store details start at minute 34).
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