Microsoft has recently unveiled the Intune Microsoft Store repository integration, which is intended to replace the current Microsoft Store for Business integration with Intune and provide a more consumer-like experience for employees. Microsoft has also released the WinGet Windows Package Manager, which allows IT pros to manage apps and updates through the Microsoft Store repository integration. In this article, I will explain how the Intune integration with the Microsoft Store works and how to add Microsoft Store apps to Intune.
This Intune integration with the Microsoft Store was announced in conjunction with the retirement of the Microsoft Store for Business and Education, which was scheduled to occur on March 31, 2023. However, Microsoft recently updated their announcement post to announce that the retirement of the Microsoft Store for Business will occur in several stages ending on September 15, 2023.
The Microsoft Store repository integration is expected to offer a number of improvements over the current Microsoft Store for Business integration such as enhanced app deployment, better update controls, and the ability to easily install and uninstall apps. In the current Microsoft Store for Business integration, apps must be manually synced in order to be made available in Intune, and there is no native update control for store apps.
The Microsoft Store repository integration, on the other hand, will automatically make new apps available and offer more control over app update deployments from Intune, as well as custom install and uninstall options. This should make it easier for enterprise admins to install, update, and manage apps on their organization’s devices.
One of the key features of the Intune integration with the Microsoft Store is the expanded catalog of apps it provides, which includes both UWP apps (Universal Windows Platform apps) and Win32 apps (traditional Windows apps). This means that in addition to the traditional Windows apps that have been available through the Microsoft Store for Business, the Intune integration with the Microsoft Store will also include apps from the Microsoft Store. This expanded catalog should offer more options for organizations looking to deploy apps to their devices.
The WinGet Windows Package Manager, which serves as the client interface for the Windows Package Manager service, allows for the discovery, installation, upgrading, removal, and configuration of applications on Windows 11 or Windows 10 PCs. The WinGet tool connects to centralized application sources and provides a command line interface for installing and searching for apps. The apps and their packages are maintained centrally by the publishers, and the WinGet tool retrieves the packages as needed.
The WinGet tool offers a number of benefits for the management of apps on an organization’s devices. Enterprise admins can use the tool to discover and install new apps, as well as upgrade or remove existing ones. The tool also allows for the configuration of apps, which can be useful for setting up and customizing the behavior of certain apps.
In addition to benefits for enterprise admins, the Microsoft Store repository integration and the WinGet tool also offer benefits for end-users. The improved app deployment and update controls offered by the Microsoft Store repository integration should also make it easier for employees to stay up to date with the latest versions of the apps they use.
The process for adding a Microsoft Store app to Intune is very straightforward. Here are the steps you need to follow:
You’re now ready to deploy your app to nominated devices. Once you add a Microsoft Store app to Intune, you won’t have to worry about keeping it up to date, Intune will do that automatically when a new version becomes available.
Overall, the new Microsoft Store app integration with Intune is a welcome improvement for IT pros, though there are some limitations you need to be aware of. In some cases, you may not be available to add Microsoft Store apps to Intune. As of today, not all Win32 apps will be available or searchable, and paid apps are also not currently supported.