Is Microsoft finally taking the first official step towards the planned closure of Microsoft Stores for businesses?
More than a year after plans to close Microsoft Stores for businesses were discussed internally, Microsoft is advising customers of the first steps towards their dismantling.
Microsoft Store for Business customers says they received information on March 11, telling them that all paid apps will no longer be "available for purchase" in stores for businesses (and schools) from April 14, 2021.
Users who already have apps obtained through these stores will be able to use them and receive updates, Microsoft notes, however. But no new paid apps will be available through these stores from April. After this date, users who wish to obtain additional applications or licenses will have to contact the application publishers, specifies Microsoft.
An initiative that dates back to 2015The note to customers also states that access to Store for Business and Store for Education, from now on, will require users to have an existing Azure Active Directory account. Anonymous browsing in these stores will not be allowed.
I asked Microsoft if today's announcement was the first step towards dismantling and closing the stores for the pros. No response yet.
The Microsoft Store, originally known as Windows Store, is Microsoft's online application store built into Windows 10. In 2015, Microsoft began testing the Microsoft Store for Business and Microsoft Store for Education, designed for admins who wanted to make apps available to their users outside of the normal Windows Store channel in Windows 10.
Means of personalized distribution They allow administrators to make store applications available to their users for acquisition and volume distribution, as well as provide a means for personalized distribution to a single business direction, for example, within an organization.
As Microsoft officials have recognized over the past two years, Microsoft's initial plan to convince developers to build Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps that can be updated and distributed only through the Microsoft Store, no. did not succeed. The need to have dedicated application stores on Windows has therefore become less pressing.
To date, Microsoft has not said anything publicly about what will happen to its app stores. But privately, company officials tried to come up with a concerted strategy, from what I heard. A year ago, this strategy did not provide for Microsoft to abandon the web version of the Microsoft Store.