If you followed Microsoft’s Education event yesterday, you may have noticed that the Windows Store is definitely going to play a key role in the future of Windows 10. The curated app store will be the only way to install new apps on Windows 10 S, the locked down version of Windows 10 that Microsoft unveiled along with the Surface Laptop and a portfolio of affordable notebooks from its OEM partners.
Proving that Windows 10 S won’t compromise the productivity of its users, Microsoft also announced yesterday that a preview of Office 2016 would soon be released in the Microsoft Store for Education. If you never heard about this dedicated store before, that’s because it seems to be completely new: Microsoft introduced the Windows Store for Business back in November 2015, which could also be used by educators to manage and distribute Windows apps, but there was no dedicated Windows Store for Education until now.
As spotted by MSPoweruser, Microsoft also updated the documentation for its Windows Store for Business on Monday, May 1, which is now called “Microsoft Store for Business and Education.” Here is how Microsoft describes it:
Designed for organizations, Microsoft Store for Business and Microsoft Store for Education gives IT decision makers and administrators in businesses or schools a flexible way to find, acquire, manage, and distribute free and paid apps in select markets to Windows 10 devices in volume.
As expected, the Microsoft Store for Business and Microsoft Store for Education will allow schools and organizations to centralize management of apps and subscriptions. It remains to be seen if the rebranding could also be applied to the standard Windows Store, for consistency. You could argue that “Windows Store” doesn’t accurately describes a digital storefront that currently sells entertainement content in addition to Windows apps. Moreover, Microsoft watcher WalkingCat discovered earlier today that Microsoft’s Groove Music Pass subscription is now available on the Windows Store:
Groove Music Pass in OneStore ms-windows-store://pdp/?ProductId=cfq7ttc0k5dq
— WalkingCat (@h0x0d) May 3, 2017
It makes sense for Microsoft Store to transform the Windows Store into a true Microsoft Store where consumers can purchase everything Microsoft: Windows apps, Xbox games, Office 365 subscriptions, entertainment content, and maybe even hardware? This would certainly help to drive usage, something that Microsoft really needs to get more developers supporting Windows 10.Further reading: Microsoft, Microsoft Store, Windows 10, Windows Store