By Jeffrey Cook, Solution Consultant, Data#3
One of the most exciting features of the new Windows 10 operating system is the new Business Store.
A key component of of enterprise mobility and The Anywhere Workplace, the new Business Store enables IT departments to customise the Windows Store and better manage the delivery of apps to users throughout their organisation.
This includes installing and uninstalling apps, app updates, app licensing and the ability to automatically install apps via an on-premise server.
The limitations of Modern Apps and Windows 8
Windows 8 saw the introduction of Modern Apps. However, because they were licensed to individual users and generally difficult to manage, they were unappealing to the enterprise.
Whilst enterprises could install line of business Modern Apps through PowerShell or Configuration Manager, they required the App Install files (which were not generally available), plus side loading certificates. As a result, many organisations simply disabled the ability to launch the Windows Store and continued to use their existing applications.
Benefits of the new Windows 10 Business Store
Microsoft has worked hard to improve overall user experience with the new Windows 10 Business Store. Some of the key improvements include:
- Easier access
Business users can now use their Azure Active Directory (AAD) account as their Windows Business Store account. This means employees can access the Business Store with their corporate credentials via a simple and secure login process. They can then select the enterprise category tab to gain access to pre-approved apps.
- Streamlined purchasing
Business users can purchase apps with a purchase order rather than a credit card. Purchasing apps in Windows 8 involved users logging into the Windows Store with a Live ID (a standalone Microsoft Account which is not managed by the enterprise) and purchasing the app with a credit card. This was an issue for companies because they had no control over that account. The new Windows 10 Business Store enables identity management through Azure Active Directory (AAD) and offers greater control with the use of purchase orders to purchase apps.
- Universal Apps
The Windows 10 Business Store also features Universal Apps – new technology that enables apps to be configured and deployed once only across multiple devices. As well as saving time and money associated with app deployment, Universal Apps provides a consistent user experience across all devices (mobile, tablet, desktop), while still taking advantage of the device form factor (e.g. touch capability).
- Apps on demand
The new web-based Business Store portal in Windows 10 enables IT administrators to easily purchase, manage and publish apps to selected users via internal tools such as Configuration Manager 2012. What’s more, employees can also access apps on demand by logging into the Business Store and downloading apps that have been pre-approved by IT.
- Online or offline management
The Business Store enables apps to be managed offline i.e. outside the Windows Store. This allows an enterprise to download the app installation files and deploy via its own enterprise management system (Configuration Manager) or the OS (image based). Online management is the traditional deployment of apps via the Windows Store or through deep links in Intune or Configuration Manager 2012. Licensing for online apps is managed through the Windows Store, whilst offline app licenses are the responsibility of the enterprise.
To learn more about the new Windows 10 Business Store, contact Data#3 today.
We have lots more information about Windows 10, including special offers. Visit data3.com.au/windows-10 now.