Microsoft has finally launched the Windows Store for Business. A year after it was first announced, the Windows Store business portal is now open. Windows 10 users are being invited to sign up using a business account or an Azure Active Directory identity to access all the goodies within when it opens fully.
The idea behind Windows Store business is to expand the universal app concept so that businesses can create their own virtual app store for internal use directly from Microsoft. So rather than having to build a complete intranet app store that internal users can browse, companies will be able to configure a Windows Store that allows users to select approved apps directly from Microsoft.
This will help both large and small businesses. It can help larger businesses by doing away with the need to build an internal app store while still providing full control over what’s available. This will also help smaller businesses who often don’t have the resources to build their own store.
For admins, Windows Store for Business will allow the bulk acquisition of apps to be used as they see fit. Admins will also be able to manage and move licenses, perform version control, update and fully manage offline apps as needed by using System Center Configuration Manager or Intune.
Admins will then be able to control who can access apps with account management, reclaim unused licenses, create their own apps for submission into the store and a range of other app-related activities.
One other clever inclusion into Windows Store business is the ability to download and install apps to devices with no internet connection. Installer files can be downloaded through the store to be included in Windows 10 images or updaters for dissemination across an infrastructure. While this has been possible before, the methodology was a little haphazard. This process streamlines it all nicely.