What you need to know
- Microsoft Stores for Education and Business are going away.
- They will be retired in the first quarter of 2023 for Windows 10 users.
- They will not be supported at all on Windows 11.
The party's over for fans of the Microsoft Store for Education and Microsoft Store for Business. If you liked these things, stay on Windows 10 and enjoy them until they're forcibly retired in the first quarter of 2023. And if you make the jump to Windows 11 before then, know that these two Microsoft Stores aren't supported on the new operating system at all.
The point of these stores was to allow for specific apps to be distributed within organizations outside of the standard Microsoft Store. However, Microsoft's not simply abandoning the features of the stores. The tech giant comes bearing gifts in exchange for what it's taking away from users.
"You can still centrally manage apps and deploy them to your Windows 10—and, later this year, Windows 11—endpoints," reads Microsoft's blog post on the subject. Windows Package Manager will facilitate these operations.
- Public apps (apps publicly available from an independent software vendor): Use Windows Package Manager via the winget command-line tool to query the single catalog of public apps, through the new Microsoft Store, for apps built by third-party ISV developers regardless of app framework and packaging technology – including Win32, .NET, UWP, Xamarin, Electron, Reactive Native, Java, and PWAs.
- Private apps (internal line-of-business apps): Use Windows Package Manager via the winget command-line tool to query your private app repository.
These capabilities are set to arrive in a preview capacity during the first half of 2022, with a standard release set for the second half of the year. All dates are subject to change.
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Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to email@example.com.