Until recently, the Microsoft Application store was really only a consumer solution. What I mean by that is that it was self-managed by an individual based on that individuals Microsoft Account (MSA). While this model works fine for personally owned devices (and continues to work fine for iOS and Android personal devices) it is unmanageable from an enterprise perspective. Consider the following:
- Each end user would have to purchase individual apps
- Each end user would have to install those apps
Enterprises are used to centrally managed purchasing, licensing and software deployment.
With the release of the Windows Store for Business (WSFB) Microsoft has addressed many of these issues. Here’s a quick overview of what you can do with the WSFB:
- Register a corporate MSA for bulk license purchases
- Manages application distribution through the store by assigning to individual users or using another management tool such as Microsoft Intune of System Center Configuration Manager
- Add your own in house/custom Apps to the store and make them available only to your users
- Manage licenses (reconcile, reclaim and redeploy)
In order to use the WSFB to assign applications to users you will need to setup Azure AD account for your users (this will already be done if you have Office 365 or Intune in place).
Remember WSFB only works on Windows 10, version 1511 (Threshold 2) and newer PCs and mobile devices.
In future posts I will discuss integration of the WSFB with both Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager