I've been looking at the Windows Store today, and have come to the conclusion that I am either missing something huge, or the Windows Store is an almost unmitigated disaster for admins.
1. You can't push install an app?
Any app from the Store, including a free one, has to be installed manually by the user? Really?
2. Sideloading is only available if the publisher makes a package for it? And it's per-user?
Even though we've paid for Windows 8 Enterprise, you can only install Windows 8 apps without the store if the publisher specifically provides you with a .appx package to allow you to do that. You can't just take any app from the store and mass deploy it. Also, the install is per-user, not per-machine, and you have to use a PowerShell script at login.
(Technically you can provision a sideloaded app into the deployment image using MDT, and those load for every user, but you are arbitrarily limited to 24 apps using this method)
3. There's no volume purchase?
Let's say I train our 5 year-olds how to navigate the Windows Store and install an app, like good little consumers. Do I also have to train them how to put the school's credit card number in too? I can't see any way for a school or business to bulk buy from the Windows Store.
OK, so we only got the Apple VPP to do this with the iPad this term, but I thought Windows 8 was supposed to save us from the consumer-focused Apple BS, not emulate the same model (only worse).
4. No automatic updates?
You've got to be kidding me.Is it possible to configure the Windows Store to perform automatic updates?
No. All updates to apps that come from the Windows Store must be initiated by the user.
Source: Managing Client Access to the Windows Store
Last edited by AngryTechnician; 1st November 2012 at 03:07 PM.
It's a bit of an older thread now (seeing this was all on beta etc), but this should help explain it a bit better:
Deploying Metro style apps to businesses - Windows Store for developers - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
A lot of your questions it answers.
Things like volume license is decided by the authors, and they can set it as an option.
You can install/update apps via images/commandline etc, but it's not as nice and easy as it should be like with msi etc
You're right, it''s no different. But it should be, and I expected better from Microsoft. On the iPad it doesn't matter what the publisher decides, if it's in the iTunes store, I can bulk buy it and deploy it.
Right now we are all looking at a future where teachers want to know why the dozen free apps they want for their class aren't automatically available on every computer. They will want to know why they are having to waste their time guiding children through installing them. They are going to be annoyed about it. And, for once, they are going to be perfectly justified.
Last edited by AngryTechnician; 1st November 2012 at 03:22 PM.
Lot of these are addressed with SCCM 2012 SP1 (early 2013) ... but outside of that it looks a PITA
Microsoft have said the same thing all along - to manage Windows RT devices, you need InTune or SCCM 2012 SP1. Microsoft: This is how Windows RT, Windows Phone 8 devices will be managed | ZDNet
But yes, I think most of the things you've listed are problems. But again, RT devices have never been aimed at business - they're an iPad replacement. The Windows 8 Pro tablets coming soon are the ones for business.
AngryTechnician (2nd November 2012)
Reading into this a bit more (I dont have sp1 beta) with sccm2021sp1 you can add a windows store app deployment but the unfinished documentation still says this a link to the store or appx, nothing in between.
If apps arent released outside of the store it more than a PITA, at best we can open the store, provide links and whitelist apps with app locker. Terrible from MS.
So... iof i want to create an image and install a bunch of windows 8 apps that are available to all the users who log in... is this possible just now?
looking at the link above from steve21 it talks about sideloading, side loading requiring a special license key, using DISM to install apps.. blah blah bleurgh..
I jsut want to install a bunch of apps straight from the app store and them have them available for all subsequent users.
Possible or not?
Also what happens about the microsoft account I use to install the apps. Ive used my own one to do it and now all my contacts and mail is flying up on the start screen.
When it comes to anything new OS related now [ or having to learn etc ] I'm just reactive now instead of being proactive - not enough hours in the day.....
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