Microsoft Readies App Store for Windows With MDM, Other Features
The Windows Store marketplace is gaining features that will help enterprises better deploy and manage their users' business apps.Microsoft is renovating its Windows Store, adding some new mobile app management features in preparation for the release of Windows 10. Chief among the new capabilities, at least for administrators charged with overseeing their end-user IT environments, is mobile device management support, announced Jim Alkove, head of the Windows enterprise program management team. "With Windows 10, organizations will also be able to fully control Windows Store features and distribution using System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune or via mobile device management (MDM) services," he stated in a company blog post. The integration will enable basic functions like installing, uninstalling and updating apps on Windows devices, as well as more complex jobs, including license management. "Because the app licenses acquired through the Store portal belong to the organization, we'll provide capabilities for organizations to reassign those licenses as needed," said Alkove. In somewhat of a departure from Microsoft's new "cloud-first" technology outlook, and in recognition "that some organizations need to install apps on devices that do not have Internet access," he added that Windows Store will support offline app installations. "Organizations will be able to download the app installation files from the Store portal and include them in custom Windows images, deploy them in run-time provisioning packages or automatically install them from an on-premises server using System Center Configuration Manager or MDM services," explained Alkove.
Enterprise customers can also expect a different Windows app store experience in Windows 10.