Microsoft abandons Microsoft Store for Business and Education in early 2023

Microsoft has been working on Microsoft Store closure plans for businesses and education for at least a year. On July 21, the company finally made this fact public via a blog post: it will be discontinuing app stores for businesses and schools in Q1 2023.

The Microsoft Store, originally known as the Windows Store, is Microsoft’s online app store built into Windows 10. In 2015, Microsoft began testing a couple of complementary digital stores: the Microsoft Store for Business and Microsoft Store for Education were designed for administrators who wanted to make apps available to their users outside of the normal Windows Store channel in Windows 10.

They allow administrators to make store applications available to their users for volume acquisition and distribution, and provide a means for custom distribution of solutions within a particular organization.

Bringing together the management capabilities of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, the new Microsoft Store app, and Windows Package Manager

Microsoft says it will bring together the management capabilities of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, the new Microsoft Store app being developed for Windows 10 and 11, and Windows Package Manager, so IT professionals and administrators can Control which apps users upload to their organization.

From the first half of 2022, users will be able to find apps from Intune or another endpoint management solution in the new Microsoft Store catalog. The new Store will include Win32, NET, Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and Progressive Web Apps. And for unmanaged devices, users can use the WinGet command line tool in Windows Package Manager to find and install apps.

Microsoft does not plan to support the two aforementioned Microsoft Stores in Windows 11. Until the first quarter of 2023, administrators can still use these stores and manage applications deployed on managed Windows 11 devices through their device management services.

Paid apps will not be supported by this new approach

Microsoft is expected to make the Windows Package Manager features needed to manage public and private apps available to users for preview in the first half of 2022, and for production use in the second half of 2022.

As Microsoft announced in April, paid apps will not be supported by this new approach; Only free applications could be acquired using Package Manager and endpoint management. The company clarifies that apps already assigned and deployed to end-user devices — whether free or paid — will continue to work until the app is removed from the device.

Source: ZDNet.com

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