Evolving the Microsoft Store for Business and Education
Published Jul 21 2021 08:00 AM 841K Views
Microsoft

Editor's note: The retirement of the Microsoft Store for Business and the Microsoft Store for Education, originally scheduled for March 31, 2023, has been postponed. For the latest information on the Microsoft Store, read Update to Intune integration with the Microsoft Store on Windows.


Today, we are announcing exciting plans that bring together the management capabilities of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, the new Microsoft Store, and the flexibility of Windows Package Manager. These plans enhance the new Microsoft Store experience that is coming soon to both Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Your suggestions matter

You told us you wanted a way to control which apps and games were being downloaded by the users in your organization. We created the Microsoft Store for Business and Microsoft Store for Education, enabling you to make specific apps available in your own private store. We linked the Microsoft Store for Business and Microsoft Store for Education to their respective Intune and Intune for Education cloud services to make it easier for you to deliver Store apps to your endpoints using the same tools you were already using to manage devices.

And now we're addressing your feedback in other areas:

Starting in the first half of 2022 you will be able to find applications from the entire breadth of the Microsoft Store catalog and deploy to your managed devices all from within Microsoft Intune, or your unified endpoint management (UEM) solution. This will include support for all the new (and existing) app types coming to the new Microsoft Store including Win32, .NET, Universal Windows Platform (UWP), and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

For unmanaged devices, you can also use the new WinGet command-line tool within Windows Package Manager to find and install your apps.

Given the new experiences outlined in this post, we are also announcing that the Microsoft Store for Business and Microsoft Store for Education as you know them today will be retired in the first quarter of 2023. You may continue to use the current capabilities for free apps until that time. There will be no support for Microsoft Store for Business and Education on Windows 11. However, admins can still leverage the connection to Store for Business and Education, from their UEM solution to deploy apps to managed Windows 11 devices, until they are retired in 2023. Please stay tuned for more information once the preview mentioned above will be available for your evaluation.

The next evolution: Windows Package Manager, the new Microsoft Store,  and Microsoft Intune

At Microsoft Build 2020, we announced Windows Package Manager, which enables developers to discover, install, upgrade, remove, and configure applications on Windows 10. We followed up in May of 2021 with the availability of Windows Package Manager v1.0 and support for Group Policy.

Windows Package Manager is an open set of APIs that can integrate with any unified endpoint management solution, including Intune. Organizations can also choose to integrate directly with these APIs to build their own solution to meet their needs and for unmanaged devices.

The WinGet command-line tool is the front end, or client interface, of the Windows Package Manager service, which itself is a comprehensive solution consisting of a command-line tool and a set of additional services for installing and managing apps on Windows 10.

Today, we are pleased to announce the next step of this evolution.

First, you can still centrally manage apps and deploy them to your Windows 10—and, later this year, Windows 11—endpoints. Windows Package Manager can simplify the process.

  • Public apps (apps publicly available from an independent software vendor): Use Windows Package Manager via the winget command-line tool to query the single catalog of public apps, through the new Microsoft Store, for apps built by third-party ISV developers regardless of app framework and packaging technology – including Win32, .NET, UWP, Xamarin, Electron, Reactive Native, Java, and PWAs.
  • Private apps (internal line-of-business apps): Use Windows Package Manager via the winget command-line tool to query your private app repository.

Then comes the best part. When ready, you can then use Intune or your UEM solution to easily manage both your public and private application catalogs.

We plan to release these capabilities for preview in the first half of the 2022 calendar year, and the general availability is targeted for second half of 2022. Subscribe to the Windows IT Pro Blog for future announcements.

How we’re getting there

As we build on Windows Package Manager, there are some key milestones that we are working toward to improve the overall commercial app management experience:

  • Windows Package Manager v1.0: generally available
  • Intune integration with Windows Package Manager service, your private app repository, and the new Microsoft Store: Public Preview (Expected H1 2022)
  • Intune integration with Windows Package Manager service, your private app repository, and the new Microsoft Store: General availability (Expected H2 2022)
  • Retirement of Microsoft Store for Business and Education for Windows 10: expected Q1 2023

How can I prepare for these new experiences?

If you work with independent software vendors, please remind them to submit their apps to the new Microsoft Store by visiting https://aka.ms/NewStore.

We'll have more information on how to create your local private app repository of internal business applications soon.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Will paid apps be supported by this new approach?

A: No. As we announced on April 14, 2021, only apps with a price of “free” are available for procurement. This will remain in effect with this new approach.

Q: Will existing Group Policy settings and CSP policies related to the Store continue to work on Windows 10?

A: Yes. You will still have the ability to turn off the Store app on Windows 10.

Q: Can my end users access my local private app repository from the Store?

A: You will be able to provide your end users access to your local private app repository via Company Portal on Microsoft Endpoint Manager or your UEM solution. The Store will no longer show private, organizationally curated applications.

Q: I am currently using the Store for private line-of-business apps built by a software vendor or in-house developer. Will those continue to work in the new solution?

A: Line-of-business apps will need to be migrated to your local private app repository before the retirement of the Microsoft Store for Business in Q1 2023. We will provide more details on how to do this migration for you and your ISV in the near future. Apps that have already been assigned and deployed to endpoints will continue to work after the retirement of the Store for Business as long as they are not removed from the device.

Q: How will app updates work in this new solution?

A: MSIX apps from the Microsoft Store will still be automatically updated. Other installer types or MSIX apps distributed directly from Microsoft Endpoint Manager can be updated by Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Q: How will apps in this repository be signed? Do I need to manage code signing for my internal applications now?

A: Apps for your local private repository will be signed like any other code in your enterprise. You can leverage your own code signing certificate, a certificate from a trusted third-party partner, or Device Guard Signing Service v2.

Q: Will all of the apps in the Microsoft Store for Business today be supported with this new approach?

A: All free apps in the Microsoft Store for Business today will be supported with this new approach. Please check with your software vendor if you have any questions.

Q: Can I control what my end users see in my local private app repository?

A: Through Microsoft Endpoint Manager, or the APIs available to other UEM solutions, you can choose what apps are available or mandatory for your organization.

Q: What happens to the apps I already distributed to my organization after the Microsoft Store for Business is retired?

A: Applications that are already assigned and deployed to end user devices, including free and paid applications, will continue to work as long as the app is not removed from the device.

Q: Where can I learn more about these new APIs?

A: We will provide more information in our documentation as it becomes available. Please refer to the timeline in this blog.

Q: Where will I be able to manage my existing Minecraft subscriptions?

A: Minecraft: Education Edition subscriptions will be available in the Microsoft 365 admin center for management.

Q: How does the Windows Package Manager service work with Microsoft Endpoint Manager?

A: We will provide more information as it becomes available prior to the public preview of the Intune integration in 2022.

Q: Where can I find more information about the new Microsoft Store?

A: Get started today by visiting https://aka.ms/NewStore.

 

284 Comments
Copper Contributor

we periodically cannot delete some Autopilot devices devices from the MEM or Intune console. And we use the store, what will be the recourse if we get a failure to delete in Intune in the future? Will we have to open a support ticket for that?

Iron Contributor

So what is the plan of action for a normal admin like me that has Active MSfB linked to Intune and some (old) apps deployed via Company Portal to devices (manually registered or Autopiloted)?

 

Seb

Brass Contributor

Personally speaking, I've unassigned the legacy MSfB apps and added the Microsoft Store app (new) versions and deployed those. Seems to work reasonably well apart from Company Portal which is very slow to deploy to new devices

 

I'm guessing at some point there will be a way to remove the linkage and the MSfB apps from the Intune console

Copper Contributor

I've done the same as JamesC95 for this, removed the assignments for the legacy ones and just deployed the new versions via Intune.

 

Exactly the same experience with the app installs too, we only have the Company portal and 2-3 other apps deployed in this way but where as before the store apps usually appeared on the devices earlier in the enrollment process the new ones appear to be the very last thing to happen so the Company portal which sometimes people are waiting for to install other apps is the last thing to come after all the win32 apps, policies etc.

Iron Contributor

There is NO "legacy MSfB apps"

 

There are only:

  • Microsoft Store app (legacy)
  • Microsoft Store for Business app
  • Microsoft Store app (new)

I have 3 apps assigned from category Microsoft Store app (legacy) and few (some Online, some Offline) from Microsoft Store for Business app

Iron Contributor

@Sebastian Cerazy You would use Microsoft Store app (new) for this now, however not all apps are available yet.

 

There doesn't seem to be an "Online" and "Offline" mode that the old MSfB store had although I'm not sure that's important with the new store.

Iron Contributor

Online/Offline does not matter (in the past some app worked better with one or the other, so I never changed)

 

But there is no way to change the app to "new" because they do not exists: 

Waves MaxxAudio Pro for Dell 2019
HEIF Image Extensions

Iron Contributor

@Sebastian Cerazy yeah not everything is available yet but a manual Winget Search does indicate that at least the HEIF Image Extension is available. Not sure why it's not appearing in the GUI though. This might be a manual deployment using Winget in a PS script.

 

winget search "heif" returns

 

HEIF Image Extension 9PMMSR1CGPWG

 

The Waves MaxxAudio Pro isn't showing but Waves Central does show. Perhaps it might be compatible?

If not then you could always download the app and package it yourself to deploy. I'm sure Dell has a copy available in the devices drivers section.

Copper Contributor

"There doesn't seem to be an "Online" and "Offline" mode that the old MSfB store had although I'm not sure that's important with the new store."

 

I disagree. When deploying/configuring new PCs, you should deploy offline versions of all apps to avoid any reliance on Internet connectivity and third-party website access. Sure, online mostly works well, but when there is a glitch, you often don't know and you look foolish for deploying improperly configured devices. In general, it is not prudent to build your business on platforms and infrastructure that are not controlled by you, and run by people whom are not accountable to you.

 

Also, when you downloaded the app and test the deployment, then you know it will be deployed correctly - every time. If you are deploying online apps, then every deployment is downloading & installing an untested version. Who knows if the current version is really stable and will install properly? This is an uncommon issue, but companies occasionally release bad versions, then quickly release updates. If you deploy during that time, you get a bad deployment, and again you look foolish.

 

This concern may not apply to most people (even if it should), but it is important to many. This applies mainly to corporate controlled devices on-prem, of course.

Copper Contributor

Hi,

 

You can use ' cmd: winget show "APPNAME" ' to find the installer URL.

 

Ex: ' winget show "Adobe Creative Cloud" ' will give you this:
Installer:
Installer Type: exe
Installer Locale: da
Installer Url: https://ffc-static-cdn.oobesaas.adobe.com/wam/2.10.0.17/win/Creative_Cloud_Set-Up.exe?api_key=Creati...
Installer SHA256: 02c75c95aa6db88ba873354ac55357580ce29999bbe3521493975d1f0a57b7c3

 

Then use the 'Installer Url' to download and test offline

Copper Contributor

@MFHansen  Awesome!

 

winget show "APPNAME" ' to find the installer URL.

Thank you. I somehow missed that.

@Tony Pombo I would not say offline deployment, but at least a manageable experience (in rings) for Store Apps / Winget based etc.

 

There are good examples:

- new release of Whiteboard didn't met expectations (to be humble)

- some apps via Store caused issues in the past, e.g. Sticky Notes, lately Snipping Tool didn't work correctly until a newer release

 

I would certainly understand the requirements for more controlled releases in enterprises and SMB.

Brass Contributor

With Intune all apps are essentially online, the difference in context of Intune/MSfB is online/offline only affects the servicing. The current version of the app is still pulled from the internet during installation. Offline can be recommended as they can be deployed to the device instead of user which makes them work more reliability in some scenarios.

 

I will say that MS did an appalling job of explaining this. Intune managed (Offline)/Store managed (Online) would explain it better. The app still gets updates, however via a different mechanism

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/mem/intune/apps/store-apps-company-portal-autopilot

 

WSfB does let you download a properly offline specific licensed copy of the app installer, which could be deployed independently but that is something different

Iron Contributor

@Tony Pombo Which is why I said I wasn't sure if it was important or not. I do know that Offline could be deployed as System but the New store doesn't have this option (yet, I did hear a rumour that it's coming). 

 

Copper Contributor

What do users of Windows 10 LTSC 2021 do? The Microsoft Store doesn't exist on that OS. I've found hacks to install it via a GitHub repo, but I'd rather not have to use a repo off the internet for business use that I don't know what the code exactly does.

 

How do I install WinGet on LTSC? This is another Microsoft Store app that I cannot get.

 

At least with the Microsoft Business Store, I had a way to download offline versions of the software I need. With this going EOL, it seems LTSC users are forgotten.

Iron Contributor

Download from here: https://github.com/microsoft/winget-cli/releases and install with Powershell (that what I did on LTSC 2021)

Copper Contributor

Hello guys,

Is the private repository infrastructure still under construction? I couldn't find any step-by-step documentation about the migration our 3rd party developed MSfB apps to private Winget.

Am i the noob (obviously) or MS haven't published the solution yet?

Thanks!

Copper Contributor

Offline and online access of Ms store education might possible as internationally some countries have not speedups internet services. Separately is working is great :ok_hand:.

 

Iron Contributor

So we have moved all of our apps into Intune/Company Portal and now want to block the MS Store from users and have used the GPO to do this but now (not sure if this intended or not) winget cannot install anything from the MS Store (either manually or via Intune). Is this intended? Or will there be a NEW policy we can use to block store access but continue to allow apps via Intune/Winget?

 

We want to control how users get these apps as some have license restrictions for businesses (and let's face it, having the whole store open is not great).

Copper Contributor

Why are some apps missing from winget?

How do we add e.g. Microsoft Print 3D?  It isn't available in Microsoft Store apps (new) in Intune and there is no entry in winget

winget show "Print 3D"

If we create an Intune Microsoft store app (legacy) we can only make it available for enrolled devices (so no option to automatically *update* devices)

Steel Contributor

I had need to look up this exact app today. The trick is using App ID instead. 9NBLGGH5FV99

BrianHoyt_0-1679330954932.png

 

Brass Contributor
Iron Contributor

I still don't see a simple explanation on what to do with our current connectors to the Store in CM and Intune.  Do we delete them?  My CM connector is failing now anyway, so I guess that's all I need to do, but really, a set of steps on migrating from the old to the new would be helpful for everyone, I'm sure.

 

Thanks,

Russell

Iron Contributor

But as it postponed, we shall not need to worry for now...

 

Microsoft Store for Education retirement has been postponed.
We'll share an update here on future plans when they're available.

Copper Contributor

Hi Guys

 

Has something changed recently with how the store works now, obviously the education store deprecation is now postponed so all should remain the same as it was?

Background, we use the education store for business and have been for quite a number of years in private store mode. Users on w10 when opening the store are SSO'd into the store in private store mode with available deployed apps.

Just this past 2 weeks possibly I've noted the store is broken and blocked by IT Administrator, equally any users tested on inc. myself are not signed into the store app.

More disturbing is if I select sign in I only get a Microsoft Personal account sign in option and not school or work.

This is for both on-premise machines and also MDM machines and nothing has changed in any configuration to do with Private Store mode in relation to GPO's nor Intune Configuration profiles, this is boggling to say the least.

Anyone experience anything similar as of the last couple of weeks and have solution or ideas what has caused this, certainly nothing changed on this side.

 

to note doing wsreset dos not fix the issue

 

Thanks.

Iron Contributor

Same here. Via browser I can sign in fine to education store & see Private one, but using the (silly) store app on Windows desktop, I only have Personal account existing (the education one simply disappeared) 

@Joe Lurie  no change, aswell with Windows 11 / Windows 10 new store app release removed sign in with business accounts, aswell.

Microsoft

@Karl_Wester-Ebbinghaus_business ; @Sebastian Cerazy ; @DReilly 

The Store for Business being deprecated did not change, The Business Store and Education Store are deprecated. The retirement of the Store for Education and Store for Business has been postponed. And yes, the Microsoft Store team did remove the private tab from the Store app on Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices. This was outside of Intune's control.

 

As Sebastian said, you can go to https://BusinessStore.microsoft.com or https://EducationStore.microsoft.com and see all apps that have been provisioned to you (and your end users can do the same - they'll only see the apps provisioned for them). And they can install them from there. I know this isn't a perfect solution, but it works until you're ready to move to Intune.

 

The removal of the private Tab from the Store app was announced in a Message Center post on April 19

JoeLurie_0-1685096910879.png

..and in this Tech Community post:

JoeLurie_1-1685097042728.png

 

Iron Contributor

but it works until you're ready to move to Intune.

 

And what am I supposed to do in Intune to be able to deliver random apps (not necessary provisioned) to users?

 

Previously I could say to Mr X: Go to MS Store and download yourself xyz app

And now to do what?

 

Seb

Iron Contributor

Anybody?

Brass Contributor

@Sebastian CerazyYou can still allow end user to use the MS Store to install apps themseleves as they would on a personal device, unless you enabled the policies to disable the store

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/mem/intune/apps/store-apps-microsoft#common-store-policy-settings-...

 

 

 

Iron Contributor

As we know business id (email) login to windows store app no longer works, only personal one does

 

So I do not see any ligical way to ask users to login with personal al MS account that they might NOT have in first place 

IT IS A MESS!

Steel Contributor

@Sebastian Cerazy The only answer is Intune. Even with Store for B/E you had to provision (buy) the app to add to your catalog. It is the same in Intune. You can (I believe) publish them to company app and then make it self service instead of a push. I haven't done it since we push all apps.

Iron Contributor

Pushing app to 1 or 2 people is not time efficient

And “purchase” the free app from non existing service also does not work (or it still does)?

 

It is a mess what MS did with it

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