New Windows 10 'Core' and 'Pro' Store apps may shed light on upgrades and licenses

The Russian site have posted an article about two new apps located in the Windows 10 (beta) Store. The apps cannot be downloaded at this time, but their names suggest they may be related to upgrades and licensing of the Windows 10 operating system.

The apps go by the straightforward names of 'Windows 10 Core' and 'Windows 10 Pro'. No other details about the listings, including images or size can be learned. The links to the listings also cannot be opened in the Windows 8.1 Store, at least not yet.

So what are these apps? puts forth the idea that these are connected to the massive Windows 10 upgrade effort by Microsoft. Specifically, they wonder if the concept of a traditional 25-character license key may be replaced by a Store license and user account analogous to app purchases.

Indeed, it was just this past Friday that Microsoft blogged about tying your Microsoft Account (MSA) to your Windows 10 Insider Preview to get the final RTM build later in July. Of course, Microsoft also noted that you are "not required to use an MSA on new PCs that come with Windows 10 pre-installed or clean installed from media".

According to, you need Windows 10 Core to download and use the Windows 10 Pro 'app'. They speculate that this may be a method by which users can upgrade their 'basic' Windows 10 OS to the Pro version all through a mere Store purchase. The license is then tied to their account making things easier if moving to another PC. Windows 10 Enterprise is noticeably absent from the Windows 10 Store listings, but that is likely because of the "special licensing regulations" for Enterprise (they are exempt from the free upgrade offer).

All in all, this appears to be Microsoft's way of simplifying licenses and activations for users. Instead of traditional activation checks from previous OS releases, Microsoft may be going to a Store and user-account method instead. Such a system also helps those in the Insider program, as Gabe Aul noted on his blog post:

"We're introducing new infrastructure in Windows Update to help us deliver new builds more effectively to Windows Insiders, and ensure that we're flighting builds to people who have registered and opted in to the program. Connecting your MSA also allows seamless access to Windows Insider-only functionality in the Windows Feedback app and Insider Hub too."

In 2015, Microsoft is all about change and shaking things up. This new structure for licensing appears to be a part of that and hopefully we'll learn more in the coming weeks.

Store Links (cannot be downloaded, only viewable in Windows 10 build 10147 or later)

  • Windows 10 Core app
  • Windows 10 Pro app

Source:; Thanks, Denis, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.