Windows 10 is bringing changes large and small to the Windows platform; and one key change involves the Store. Introduced in Windows 8, the Windows Store was a place for users to get applications much like the App Store or Google Play. There was and is a lot of questions that Microsoft faced when creating the store beyond consumer applications and it involved the enterprise.
Many enterprises and businesses, while adopting mobile devices, don’t handle iPads and Nexus phones like an individual would. There are certain restrictions employed or specialized apps that are aimed at a specific company. And these needs were not being met by the consumer focus of the Windows store. Functions like device management were light and didn’t include certain services like Active Directory or were not uniform across devices. Side loading applications was also an issue. If a company wanted to use or run an app it had to go through the app store. It made it hard to make a case for Windows devices and especially Windows tablets.
All this will be undergoing a change for Windows 10. During this year’s TechEd Europe conference Senior Vice President, SVP, Mike Niehaus detailed the changes coming for enterprises. The biggest takeaway from the presentation is the Windows Store’s next iteration will be about pushing flexibility. Not only is the Store expanding to take ID beyond the Microsoft Account it’s also becoming optional. Enterprises can also create their own stores or portals making it easier to fit modern apps into the enterprises using the Windows Stack. Additionally Microsoft is making it easier for businesses to do more with app deployment and tracking, This includes things like bulk app buying and the ability to monitor who gets what and how.
The talk did not cover the consumer story but it did show off things regular users will see. For one the Windows 10 will bring a new look for the Store. When Redmond started talking about the idea of One Core it talked about a uniform platform; one of these places was a unified store. The image above illustrates that Windows 10 will combine the various app stores across Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox into one. The Store seems to be expanding to offer some things like music and video directly from the Store instead of Xbox Music and Video; it also appears that PC games and desktop software will also be downloadable.
It’s not all wine and roses though, recent reports have Microsoft retiring the sales terms for developers starting in 2015. Right now a developer on Windows developing for tablets (Metro applications) gives up 30% to Microsoft. This is similar to how much Apple takes for apps in their marketplace. However if you a reached a certain level of users Microsoft’s take goes down to 20. In the new year Microsoft gets read of the drop. It’s a sad change in pace but the 20 percent was not across the board.
All in all Windows 10 looks to be a lot more than a simple update.