Deploying modern apps to Windows 8.1

I'm little confused with these modern apps that can be installed from Windows Store. 

There is one app in windows store that we would like to deploy to all of our Windows 8.1 users. 

There is deeplinking and sideloading methotds. 

Is it really so that I cannot automatically deploy application from windows store to all users? I have understand that all I can get is a deployment that opens Windows Store to end user and they need to manually start the installation from there? It's total anti-it. It's basically same as I would email Windows Store link to all of our users via email and tell them to install it. This method is called deeplinking if I'm right.

Sideloading method seems to be for modern software where I have access directly to appx files. If I have appx files then I'm able to deploy them automatically to my end users? It's hard to get appx files from public store apps. Only if the developer gives them to me. Correct me if I'm wrong.

We use ConfigMgr 2012 R2.

  • Edited by DamonWH 20 hours 48 minutes ago
May 17th, 2015 6:58am

No confusion. Everything you've said is accurate.
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May 17th, 2015 7:42am

Yep, what you have said is correct.

You can't deploy Windows Store apps in Windows 8.1 to "All Users" that are publicly published in the store as Microsoft won't release the appx files. You can allow users to install Store apps themselves but they would need to tie a personal Windows Live ID to the corporate device. Not to mention the issues that would occur if you sit behind an Internet proxy and administrative rights etc etc.

As you have already said you can sideload apps if you have in house developed modern apps or deploy them using Configuration Manager / present them to users using an on premise corporate store.

Microsoft has done a lot work in an effort to fix this. However there is a big "but". You will have to be running Windows 10 in the Enterprise and leverage Azure AD to allow your corporate AD accounts to authenticate and install Windows Store apps. There were quite a few presentations on this at Microsoft Ignite a few weeks ago. Check out BRK3306 - John Vintzel - Windows 10 Universal App Deployment for Enterprises and BRK3338 Tejas Patel, Ford McKinstry - Using the Business Store Portal with Windows 10 Devices. Mike Niehaus also touched on this and did some demos in BRK3330 - What's New in Windows 10 Management and the Windows Store.

There is a way forward now - however its probably a while off yet from being something you could introduce into production and its going to take a fair bit of investment in any existing corporate IT environment to get Azure AD into the picture.



May 17th, 2015 6:33pm

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