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No, Microsoft is not going to block your desktop apps from installing on Windows 10

It's a security feature that many of us are excited about, especially on devices aimed at Enterprise or Education, but some reports incorrectly titled this news as if Microsoft were forcing this feature onto users, rather than giving them a choice. Here's what you need to know.

The reality is, it isn't even a choice that you have to make. It's just a feature that's hidden in Settings and it is off by default. You need to know about the feature to even be able to turn it on in the first place, so reports that claim Microsoft is planning to block your desktop apps on your PCs and laptops are wrong. Now, what's actually happening is Microsoft is building a new, optional security feature into Windows 10 that will stop unauthorized apps from installing on your machine.

It's just a feature that's hidden in Settings and it is off by default.

When phrased like that, it doesn't sound all that bad right? That's because it isn't. If you own a current Windows 10 machine, your device isn't going to change behavior when it comes to installing apps from outside the Windows Store unless you specifically change the option that's buried in the Settings app. What's more, there are two levels to the "block," which make for an even more customizable feature.

Customizable security, with options

The first level will just warn you before installing an app from outside the Windows Store. When launching an installer, Windows will say "Careful!" with an option to search the Windows Store for the app instead. If you want to install the app, just hit "install anyway." The second level will block apps from installing from outside the Store completely, with no override option.

It's incredibly unlikely that Microsoft will enable these by default in the future either, and here's why.

Microsoft is actually building an entirely new edition of Windows 10 specifically for that, separate from the Home and Pro editions we all use on our PC's today. Windows 10 Cloud is the new edition in question that's aimed at laptops designed to take on Chromebooks at the low-end of the market. The selling point of Cloud is that it's a much more secure version of Windows 10 as it acts similarly to Windows RT did, where apps would only install if they came from the Windows Store.

This is where Microsoft will be enforcing any "app block" on Windows 10. It won't affect any Windows users already using PCs, laptops, and tablets. If you're on Windows 7 and are looking to upgrade, you'll continue to be able to install desktop apps if you wish. Same goes for users on Windows 8 or Windows 10. Microsoft is not changing anything for users who currently use Windows unless the user wants to change the setting themselves.

This "enforcement" will only come about when shopping for a future low-end device that ships with Windows 10 Cloud. If you buy a Windows 10 Cloud machine, installing apps from outside the Store will be blocked, and you'll be required to purchase a license to Windows 10 Home or Pro to unlock that capability. As noted, what's important here is Microsoft won't be enforcing the same block for Windows PCs currently on the market, in fact, it won't even be on by default. If your PC is running Windows 10 Home or Pro, you're fine.

It's incredibly unlikely that Microsoft will enable these by default in the future either.

And before you ask, it's incredibly unlikely that hardware makers will want to ship flagship devices with Windows 10 Cloud. This new Cloud edition of Windows 10 is essentially the same as Windows 8.1 with Bing, which only shipped on cheap, low-end devices. This is the same ordeal, so you won't be buying powerful desktops and ultrabooks in the future with a version of Windows that's locked to the Store. They'll still ship with the "unlocked" versions of Windows 10.

It's also worth noting that the "block" is only for apps that are being installed from outside the Store. If the app is in the Store, whether it be a Win32 or UWP app, it'll install just fine. This is because Microsoft's Store team has checked the files for malicious code. Windows 10 Cloud and normal Windows 10 machines running Home and Pro with the block enabled will be protected from harm.

Don't panic!

I'm personally incredibly excited to see Microsoft bringing this security feature as an option to Windows 10, as I own several Windows 10 devices in which I only install apps from the Windows Store. Devices like my HP Stream 7, which I use primarily as a tablet, I don't need apps from outside the Store, so being able to block them from installing is beneficial to me. It will also be a boon for less tech-savvy users to protect them from obnoxious programs.

So there's no reason to panic, Microsoft isn't evil, and they're not going to take away your precious desktop apps from outside the Store on your current Windows machines. You'll still be able to install Steam, Google Chrome, Premiere Pro and whatever other programs you love using on your Windows 10 desktops and laptops from wherever you found them on the web, no questions asked.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

116 Comments
  • Knew this was bogus anyway as Microsoft would be shooting themselves in the foot with that feature. Imagine all the VFX artists (I'm one) and Graphic Designer's that would have been forced to abandon Windows if that were true. ANY 'job' that required proprietary software, etc.
  • Very true. Whilst I fully expect this block to be enabled by default at some point in the future, there will always be a dev mode option to unlock it for advanced users. That said, this cloud version is a bit limiting. Win8 with Bing came on my tablet and was a full version of W8 with a link to Bing added. This cloud version sounds like an attempt to bring back RT. Who, on buying a small tablet, will be up for paying around the £100 mark (my guess) to get full Windows? Better to spend the money on a better (probably bigger) device with full Windows. That will effectively knacker MS in the smaller, cheaper device market as RT would have done if MS had not offered the full alternative in the same form factor. I can't see this working out well.
  • Don't think of it as similar to windows rt think of it more like windows 7 starter or basic edition where the OS was nerfed but had the option to gain more features through and upgraded license. That's what Windows Cloud is. Windows RT was limited at a hardware level whereas this is limited at a software level and can be changed so that you have the full windows experience with legacy win32 program support.
  • I had W7 starter on my netbook. That was a bit annoying but I could fill in the holes because I could install any third party software I liked to cover for the gaps left by MS (mind you the biggest gap was no Media Centre, and since MS have taken that out of all builds now we're all kind of on Starter equivalent anyway these days...). If the new cloud version was like that then it might be OK but it's not. Instead it blocks apps like RT did. Who cares if it's software or hardware that's the problem. There's still no point buying it and upgrading the OS (at great expense) when you can just add that upgrade cash to your initial stake and get a better device with full Windows from the outset. Starter failed. RT very much failed. This seems rather similar.
  • @AndyCalling, at least 3 big differences and possibly 4 between Cloud and RT: 1. You're right that it doesn't matter to a user if the limit is hardware or software. That's because what a user cares about is access to the programs they want to use. The reality is that this ends up making the hardware vs. software distinction critical: there's nothing to stop Adobe or Corel or Intuit or any other major publisher from releasing their apps through the Store. It's not like with RT, where they would have had to expend substantial efforts to re-code them to run on ARM processors, and why bother -- the much lower-performance ARM hardware would ensure a bad experience and lots of customer complaints, which helped to keep the apps away. Now it's almost a straight business decision (still some small amount of effort). 2. Cloud is mainly intended for groups that want it -- education (and to a much lesser extent enterprise, but that's really where the new optional feature in this article comes in, so Enterprise can just lock down the Pro or Enterprise editions of Windows through Group Policy settings on the Windows Server). For them, they want dirct cheap tablet-style systems they can buy and provide to students. Their IT people don't always run domains with Group Policy control, and have been turning to Google Chromebooks for the simple security management. Windows 10 Cloud addresses that. 3. Cloud is upgradeable to full Windows 10. Unlike with RT, this is possible because it's a software difference rather than hardware. This won't matter to a lot of people and most probably will never upgrade, but it's an important relief option. If you buy a system ignorant about any of this and it comes with Cloud, the solution is to pay an upgrade fee and you can install anything. That's still frustrating to the person who didn't know, but that customer will know it was a super-cheap purchase and still a reasonable deal even after paying the upgrade price. These are probably going to be mostly sub-$200 or $300 systems. Even though that user may grumble a little, it's still much better than RT, where in that same situation, the user would be at a dead end. This led to the general theme: avoid RT, because you might be stuck with a system you can't use. No such concern with Cloud. 4. (possible) There are already a lot more apps today in the Store than when RT came out. If Microsoft's strategy works, and the option in this article and Cloud both contribute to it, more developers will release their apps through the Store. Eventually, there will be a tipping point where a significant number of users will look first at the Store before looking elsewhere for their apps. At that point, there will be few major apps that are not available through the Store. If that happens (might not, which is why I've only listed this #4 as a possible), then Cloud isn't much of a limitation. This isn't a fundamental difference between the systems like the 3 above, but would reflect a change in customer behavior from the RT days where Store-only apps becomes a fine, barely noticeable limitation.
  • This is exactly how Mac OS has worked for years. By default only store apps install without a warning, you just enable non-store apps in one click when you go to install one
  • Exactly and mobile phones do as well. MS won't close the system off completely and even if they made it a default option in the distant future, I'll put money on those new to Windows will have no problems figuring out how to install legacy applications.
  • Thank God. For a while I thought MS was going in for a closed system like Mac OS which would have been unfortunate.
  • This got me thinking...is there a way to properly access a UWA's launcher? I use my keyboard to launch a few programs, and wanted to do the same for Edge? However, I found it unwilling/unable to launch itself from the file explorer.
  • The UWP apps database is separate from the standard Start menu shortcuts (.lnk files), but you can create standard shortcuts to UWP apps by drag'n'drop from the start menu to a filesystem folder. The resulting .lnk contains the canonical name for the app and can be used to launch it like any standard app shortcuts file.
  • That doesn't really help with my question, though. The macro software lets me choose to do a few things. One of those is launching and application, which requires a launcher. However, opening a file (essentialyl what the .lnk means) is not possible, which is disappointing.
  • If the keyboard software is unable to launch .lnk files, that's a limitation of the software, not the platform. I tested and can confirm that the ShellExecute​ API function with such a shortcut launches the app just fine. You might want to ask the keyboard manufacturer to update their software. After all, Windows 10 have been available to consumers for a year and a half, maybe it's time manufacturers start testing their softwares with it ?
    I'm not joking, some only start paying attention when their customers start complaining, otherwise they keep the "no one uses that new version of Windows yet" excuse as long as they can.
  • Yes, it's a limitaiton of the software, but it's still a limitation of the platform as well. That I can navigate to a launcher in the File Explorer, and the thing literally does nothing, it not the fault of Steelseries, it's the fault of Microsoft's implementation. It's just like Ryzen--it's not AMD's fault Windows 10 doesn't understand how to handle its SMT implementation, even though Windows 7 does. I don't think it's sensible for Microsoft to implement desktop programs that don't actually launcch when you click on them. Don't put the files in an easily found portion of the file system, if you're not going to make them useful.
  • Could you launch a batch script with it? That would be a simple workaround.
  • I wouldn't consider that a "simple" solution. A simpler solution would be to stop using Edge, really.
  • @Keith Wallace, I use the Shortcut Key feature built into Windows to set quick launch keys, to launch UWP apps like Calculator. I press Ctrl-Alt-C and Calculator launches. I've also assigned that a macro key on my keyboard, so it pops up with a single keypress. Is that similar to what you're trying to do? If so, just put a shortcut for Edge on your desktop, right click and select Properties, and assign it a Shortcut Key on the Shortcut tab. Once that's done, you can use pretty much any macro program to trigger your Shortcut Key combination and launch Edge (or any other UWP or traditional desktop app).
  • That might be an option, I'll have to try it out. Far from graceful, but better than...well, not having any option.
  • This would be as disastrous as the decision to end the free upgrade to Windows 10.
  • How was the free upgrade disasterous? What facts can you base this off of?
  • http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/615169/windows-7-share-decline-stalls-h... Windows 10 is barely growing now. If that isn't an issue, not sure what is!
  • Growth, or lack there of, is not the only definition of disaster. By that definition Mac OS and Linux are both disasters. Where's any stats on revenue generated by W10? Then again, you know nothijg but your own opinion anyway.
  • Windows isn't Mac. Its success is based on growth, especially if they want UWP to be adopted by developers. For Windows 10 to not be growing, even in relation to other versions of Windows, it most certainly not a good sign.
  • Literally nothing you said makes a point. (Per usual) Windows is not Mac or Linux, but in comparison their lack of growth is not considered a disaster. As for windows success being based on growth, who decided that metric? I haven't seen anything that says the only way Windows will be cibsidered a success is through growth. I dont have a business degree, but I'd say success would be based on profit. Something MS has been doing well.
  • Linux is a disaster. Mac is whatever. Apple makes some money off of it since it is all high end devices, but even they don't seem to care about it. Why would they when iPhone is an abosolute juggernaut? Windows doesn't compete with these systems, or more like, these systems are completely irrelevent. That is why I basically ignored that comment. Windows competes with iOS and Android. It is 2017, not 2006. Windows as a whole is getting is outsold by iOS, let alone Android. If they are not growing, it is not a good sign. It could most definitely be called a disaster when you see that Windows 10 isn't even growing in relation to Windows 7! If Linux and Mac sales is the argument you are trying to make, you are the one with no point or who completely missed the point.
  • Microsoft aren't a charity, they are a business and businesses are out to make money. People were informed about the free upgrade ending and if you missed it then that's not their problem.
  • Your logic won't stop Tim Sweeney from spreading FUD around about Microsoft! 😛
  • Tales, how does the article address anything as to what Tim has suggested?  Tim has said that he believes Win32 will basically be hamstrung by MS, basically making it a redhead stepchild... cooking the frogs slow so they don't know they are being cooked.   Matter of fact, many users that comment on these type of articles sometimes believe that MS is doing exactly what Tim has suggest, but they had no idea that this has been suggested to be potentially bad.   I would say Tim is correct, in that it is the plan to hamstring Win32 and the open platform... now I am not saying they will be successful.   Cooking the frog slowly is the only way... as I mentioned I doubt the frogs even get in the pot.   Of course, Tim was not the first to publically disclose that the idea of MS wanting a closed system, Gabe came out prior to Win8.   Why wouldn't they?   This site is nothing but a big ad site so... when I see comments like "Don't Panic" in their articles I kind of laugh.   This site is good for at least one "Windows Phone isn't dead article a week", so thinking they have some type of insight is kind of funny.   Either way this is an example of what Tim is getting at, whether it gets there... meaning a closed system is neither here or there... I believe MS will fail as they have constantly failed as far as consumer products over the last 10 years.
  • And which apologist advertising sites do you like to visit? AndroidCentral? iMore?
  • I don't like closed systems... so no I don't visit Android sites.   Probably not what you wanted to hear. (but I have to admit I still come here once or twice a week for laugh... some of these articles are laughable... my guilty pleasure)  Either way, the hamstring of Win32 will probably continue... they are justing hoping a frog will jump in and they can continue to slow cook.   I don't see this working out... which I would bet even they would say in secret it is a longshot.
  • You still have not said what you like, which ass you kiss, what and who you have whored yourself out to.
  • Nohome, unlike you I don't kiss ass.   I do have windows on desktop/tablet, and some of my customers rely on iOS on phones and tablets... all my backend stuff has been moved over to various Linux builds... no more Windows on the server side.    You getting mad probably isn't going to really change anything... I am always puzzled by the fanboy defense leagues.   You are strange bunch.
  • First off, it is nohone, a reference to a literary character. Second, what would I have to be mad about? You using iOS (which you never complain about the restrictions there) and Linux makes absolutely do difference to me. The only one here that seems to be mad is you, who spams every article attacking others, expressing your hate and anger towards Microsoft. But that is OK, everyone here sees though your comments and see you as the usual, run of the mill Apple/Linux user who is insecure in their life choices and needs to take it out on somebody.
  • So Apple or Linux?
  • Well for a guy who likes to laugh you sure ain't funny, Mako. If anyone is a "frog" being slowly cooked it's Apple fan boys. I still can't understand why someone would pay so much for technology that's 2 or 3 years behind? How does such a company with such a small market share make so much? Really think about it. 17% of the mobile market, iPad and computers dropping but yet still making more money than Samsung?
  • Apple consumers want to be frogs and they don't care about being frogs... they don't need to be cooked slowly... they were already burned to a crisp all at once.   I am not one of them either way.    Windows iOS is not for me and yes, that is the goal... I am not saying they will be successful, my "guess" they fail once again. 
  • "Tim has said that he believes Win32 will basically be hamstrung by MS, basically making it a redhead stepchild... cooking the frogs slow so they don't know they are being cooked." And how would this be any different from DOS apps being "hamstrung" by Win16 ones and Win32 apps doing the same with the latter some 20+ years ago again? First, Win32 isn't this symbol of freedom some people are making it out to be, it's actually a very old, late 80s to early 90s development platform that simply isn't designed with modern OS and programming paradigms and technologies in mind - it's still based on a procedural paradigm with millions of functions like CreateWindowEx, for example, in a world where everyone and their mother moved to an object-oriented one. Win32's deprecation has been a long time coming, and no one would be making a fuss about it if not for the Windows Store and those very optional OS flags that prevent you from sideloading apps. Second, there are a couple of reasons why Microsoft will not dare lock people to the Windows Store, none of which are faith-based: 1) the backlash would be enormous not only from consumers, but also and more importantly from their business partners and enterprise customers, and 2) they'd once again be facing antitrust lawsuits from the US and EU. Finally, if you think Windows Central is just an ad site with no credibility what the hell are you coming here for? To troll?
  • First, Win32 isn't this symbol of freedom some people are making it out to be, it's actually a very old, late 80s to early 90s development platform that simply isn't designed with modern OS and programming paradigms and technologies in mind - it's still based on a procedural paradigm with millions of functions like CreateWindowEx, for example, in a world where everyone and their mother moved to an object-oriented one.
     You realize the UWP is just a framework on top of Win32, correct?
  • ^ This!
  • Yet still I wish all our apps came from the store. Currently all apps on my laptop and pc come from the store apart from IDM.
  • Same here. By that I mean every Win32 app I normally use I wish I could just get in the store. Having it all in one place and auto-updating and with the extra sandboxing would be very convenient indeed.
  • However, you may have to wrap your keyboard in tin foil in the future.
  • Are you people still using Windows phone? 😭
  • why yes Henry, would there be a problem?
  • You people still here trolling? Aren't you too busy telling everyone ChromeBook, Mac or Linux has finally taken over and Microsoft is doomed to history?
  • You people??
  • (deleted - misunderstood your comment)
  • I didn't read the whole thread or would have clarified replying to OP.
  • Are you still living in your mom's basement and trolling a Windows forum for weed money?
  • You can get weed money for trolling here? Oh for fu... No wonder, then. WC, time for a policy change? Hmm?
  • Since there's no reasonable alternitive (iOS to Expensive and I'm too stupid to understand Android UI concept) yes, i will use Windows 10 Mobile in the forseeable future.
  • Years ago Apple did this very thing, but enabled it by default. And it was looked at as the best way to enfoce security on any platform. Microsoft adds the option but disables it by default, and it is supposedly just another step in Microsoft taking control away from you, forcing you to use the store so that they can make more money. Just another example of the the media (not this site) twisting the facts to help their favorite (anyone but Microsoft) in the market.
  • Apple didn't do that. They essentially did the same that Microsoft's SmartScreen has done for years: require software to be digitally signed to run without a warning. Most people don't realise it but any software you download from the internet that runs without a warning on Windows has actually been signed with a certificate obtained via Microsoft that the developer had to pay for.
  • Interesting
  • They very much did do this. I am looking at it right now on my Mac - System Preferences, Security & Privacy, General: Allow apps downloaded from: * App Store * App Store and identified developers * Anywhere The first option is to only permit apps downloaded from the store to run. The second is from the store or for software that has applied for official approval from Apple. The third is to allow all software to run. The second option is interesting, because a few weeks ago a bunch of certificates were revoked, and apps stopped working - paid for apps. That second option is the similar to SmartScreen. The first option is the same as what Microsoft has added. Apple used to make only from the store the default, my Macs are managed by my company and that option is managed by them so I do not know if it is still the default.
  • The second option is still default.
    Source: I have access to a fresh installation of OSX.
  • You said that "Apple didn't do that" when in fact, it is the very thing they did. They restrict, by default, only being able to install apps from the store or apps that Apple has approved. You can change the default to be less restictive, but it is still the default. It used to be that there were only two options, they have added a third and made that third option the default, but this is still exactly what I wrote that you denied was true.
  • No. You said that they did what Microsoft is claimed to have done (that this article debunks). But instead Apple did what Microsoft did years ago with SmartScreen: require that developers sign their apps with an Apple-issued certificate. They are very different things.
  • This is good news for consumers, as many open source software that runs on Windows gets patches and new features by connecting directly to Internet, take for example developer software like RStudio or Eclipse, software like this would be very difficult to put on Windows store since probably Microsoft wouldn't let you update your app outside of the Windows store installation process.
  • If a dev migrates their app to the store, then the store is where the dev publishes updates for that app. Nonissue.
  • Actually it is because the dev/publisher is giving up control, rights and must agree to the terms which probably can be terminated at will i.e. closed system.  The programs that target Win32/Linux only have reasons why they target those platforms.  
  • You mean how, like on your phone OS of choice, iOS, they have removed or not approved apps because they compete with Apple apps, how Apple will take the names of existing apps and force the competing apps to change to be different, how Apple has pulled apps that contains content that Apple does not approve of (nudity, language, etc) but then sell those very things from their stores so that they can make money? But that is OK, because you do not need to abide by the same rules you set and attack others over.
  • I think generally its okay, not something I would support, but generally I don't have a problem with it.   They are open about their platform and its a closed platform.  Not sure what your problem is to be honest... you seems to be a part of some strange defense force.   I have no problem with Microsoft closing off Windows, but at that point I would recommend to get off Windows completely.... of course, that is why they have the slow frog plan... .everyone would leave.
  • Because your recommendation carries weight? Why should I listen to you if you were to recommend to me that I leave Windows? And what would you recommend I go to? You have carefully wrapped your comments in distraction and double talk to actually say what you use. For example, when it is about phones, you say what your "customers" use (didn't know kids in their mother's basement had customers) but you never say what you use. As for the "strange defense force" bit - you go to a web site that is about Microsoft and their products, and start making claims that are not true, troll article after article, attack others, and have the nerve to claim that we are part of some "strange defense force?"
  • Wait for it - the very people who complain about Microsoft automatically installing updates will now whine and complain about OSS not being about to force updates and needing to go through the store for updates.
  • Microsoft is just asking for another Antitrust/Conpetition lawsuit against them if they keep this up. The only saving grace is that its not enabled by default, if it was you can bet Microsoft would be in very hot water with regulators and competitors.  
  • When Apple did this and turned it on by default, is that an Antitrust issue? How about how they disallow installing apps from sources other than the App store on the iPhone? Why are those not monopolistic practices?
  • iOS was created to be a closed system from the get go.   Windows is an open system which they are more less wanting to be a closed system, which "could" mean hamstringing products, consumers and corporations... and each of who rely on Win32.   I have no issues with MS wanting to go that direction, but at the same time its not something I would use nor would I recommend it to my customers.   Matter of fact, I would probably recommend getting completely off Windows at that point as why would you want multiple closed system platforms?   With that said, in the 90s was using Windows to crush Netscape, and making it harder and harder to run Netscape in particular but not limited to them.   I am not saying it anti-trust issue right now... as the world no longer really needs Windows... however, I think its important for the public to be aware of what is being attempted.  
  • In the 90s, MS was moving away from the DOS platform, a pseudo-open system over to graphical/win32. Nobody cared then about what happened to all the programs then. Now, all the DOS programs you depend on have to run in emulation. Fast forward to the present, MS is moving away from Win32 over to the Universal Platform in what is basically the same thing that happened in the 90s and yet your panties are all in a bunch lol. Really, the time will come when the only way to run the Win32 apps you depended on is through emulation, but really, is it all a bad thing?
  •   Dick, but what you are saying is contrary to the official message by MS and their defense league.   I actually agree with you... that is the plan... you seem to be more or less agreeing with Timmy.   As far as MS ditching Win32 being good or bad... not sure... I for one have no need for them without win32 and/or a open system... I doubt that is the plan.   Which is okay... but talking about it surely shouldn't be off limits.    I don't think my pansies are in twist because I me stating the obvious.   I would probably just tell my customer to move even further into iOS/Android at that point or even Mac/Linux long-term for custom software.   Basically, MS wants their cake and eat it too... its not going to work but I think its important to make the public aware of the general plan.    
  • Nope, not agreeing with Timmy. I'm just saying that MS was able to maintain DOS compatibility even as it was pushing Windows. I hope you think about that for a minute.
  • @Dick The big difference is moving from open DOS to open Windows was still maintaining the open platform; what Microsoft is trying to do now is to move from an open Windows platform Win32 to a closed Windows platform UWP that locks everyone to Windows Store where Microsoft takes an automatic cut of every developers profit and has control over your software. If you can't see the difference .....
  • I love how people can twist what is obviously a security feature into something positively apocalyptically evil.  Yeah, I know its easy to hate on Microsoft, but its easy to forget that UWP in itself is a very open platform.  Nothing stopping other companies from distributing UWP apps, heck, a few weeks ago, I installed a UWP Redtube client off github from some Eastern European dev, and just the other some marketing guy from MS just went on record about making XBox a more open platform. The store is just a distribution platform, not the platform itself, and I'm pretty sure its safe to assume that, even with the ability to block non-store programs, Windows itself will remain an open platform.  I hope you can see the difference.
  • You do realize anyone can sell a UWP application. It does not have to come from the Windows Store, it just has to been signed with an digital key. Steam, Adobe, etc.. can create their own UWP store. I am not sure how this setting described in this article would effect them but imagine it would just be checking that those stores are selling properly signed applications.
  • You totally fail to grasp the idea. They don't want to make Windows a completely closed OS; they want to offer features to enforce a sandboxed execution environment, elevating security for a lot of folks out there, that tend to click OK a couple of times to much, and getting burned by ransomware in the process.
  • As Timmy said, 1.  Hamstring Win32 2.  Try and get as much of the win32 on uwp 3.  at some point the decision can be made to close the loop and make it store only installs If they tell developers now that they might close the loop... everyone (generally) starts making alternative plans i.e. leave.    If one wants a closed platform there are already platforms for that iOS/Andriod... most people are already running those on their phones and tables as well.
  • Nah, this is just a case of people getting the same set of facts and you choose to see it differently from all the others.
  • It has nothing to do with facts, more like observation and common sense.   Why wouldn't MS want a closed system?  Duh.  "hey guys, you know all that Apple Store money?  Yeah, we don't want that"   Literally they wanted this since the 90s, and I think its okay if they go that direction, which they are, but nothing I would support... it would be just easier for corporations to just move more rapidly to iOS/Android of course and end Windows completely.   I seriously doubt people/corporations dump iOS/Android for a UWP, but time will tell.
  • What Microsoft really wants is alternative ways to make money in a world where periodic and very much paid OS updates are not a thing. They'll never, ever fully close the OS because of the potential consumer backlash and antitrust lawsuit, but there's nothing wrong with having the Windows Store as an option.
  • What is being attempted? MS supports the best from both worlds, and unlike som other large OS and software developers, MS releases their software on most platforms. iOS being like this all the time makes no difference, and instead of making the public aware about what you think is being attempted, you should rather focus on what apple all ready have done.
  • @nohone; Why don't you study Competition (antitrust) law and you will know.
  • Have any regulators forced Apple to pre-jailbreak their devices so non-store software can be installed? When that happens, maybe your point has validity.
  • Nobody has the money to fight Apple in court. Apple is the first to sue anyone and everyone. That's why an iPhone cost so much.
  • Apple doesn't really have a monopoly, they make huge money... monopoly no.   Last quarter only around 18% of the phones sold ran iOS. 
  • In the US yes. Worldwide, not so much (less than 10% market share). They're losing more and more to Android.
  • PepperdotNet, your point is the same as saying OEM's should make Google disable "Install from unknown sources" by default. Which would never happen. Both Google and Microsoft let you install software from sources other than their respective app store, but not iOS. Your argument is invalid.
  • Apple started as a closed system; its a whole other matter if you have a company with an open system (Windows) where countless other companies depend on it and that company abuses that diminance to change the system and get a profit from all those who now depend on it.
  • Yeah good point lets just remove this feature, its REALLY an issue. That way schools can't use it to lock out wannabe hackers and enterprises can't use it to ensure extra security for their employees and their company. Because its definitely worth an Antitrust lawsuit and Microsoft needs to be stopped before they take over the world. *sarcasm*
  • Apple has already taken over all news source. You can't go anywhere without hearing about the latest iPhone 8 leak, "what we know so far", "5 apps in the App store you can get for free right now" oh and "Why the iPhone is better than..." They are all paid for because you don't get in the news if you don't pay. Newspapers are the biggest money losers going yet rich people love to own them.
  • Uhmmm Windows is a proprietary OS, which means they can lock any software that they don't want out without legal ramifications, not that they will.
  • Dick, I seriously doubt you have the answer that as you would actually have to have access to all of MS legal contracts no?
  • Nope, I dont have these documents, but its also a proprietary, closed source OS, they can break compatibility anytime they like, the fact that they don't means that they depend for their existence on Win32 and DOS programs and on an open platform. Get it?
  • You need to educate yourself on Antitrust (competition) law before you start throwing out complete BS.
  • You're basically saying "this is really bad and the only saving grace is that it's not bad". There is no issue here. No one is taking Apple to court over the iOS app store so why would anyone have grounds to due Microsoft? Even if they did enable this block on every machine, developers are still free to create a Store version of their app so pretty much no one is locked out.
  • I'm looking at you Engadget for your click-bait headlines.
  • I want this for the home. My kids are 11-14 gamers. They are primarily controlled by MS Family Safety, but since that is Edge/IE dependent, I've been battling the rogue browser wars, daily blocking new ones from being installed from the nethers of the internet. Not sure how Win 10 Cloud would affect Steam or Roblox, but still interested to see how constrained the boys will feel locked to just the Windows Store.
  • Roblox has a Windows Store app.
  • Don't get Windows 10 Cloud if you want them to use Steam. For Cloud, apps have to come from the store, which steam does not (Roblox is available in the store). When the creators update rolls out, just enable it to install only from the store and temporarily disable it for them when they want a new game.
  • Thank goodness 😩😫
  • Was starting to feel bad for all my games isos and all
  • To be fair, I've not actually seen any news that seemed to be blowing this up into anything more than it was - an optional new feature. Strikes me the only people that might have been ranting about it are the trolls anyway....  
  • It's stupid people that come up with assumptions' like these that killed some of the greatest features of Xbox One
  • These are not assumptions, they are specifically designed FUD to drive people away from Microsoft. Every version of Windows has been like this. From "you will not be able to play your home movies on Windows because of protected path" to "The TCP/IP stack will bring down the Internet," they have all been lies to frighten people. This is just the same old argument that has appeared since Win8, that Microsoft was trying to force people out of WIn32. That API is still there, still being supported, still being grown. But some people, including others in this very article, still try to scare people not to use Windows. People are even denying that the competition has been doing worse for years (making it the default) while apologizing for their favorites.
  • Yeah, the XBONE feature retreat was a sad story, just because some people made some bogus uproar MS pulled those good things that could have changed everything...
  • For really security conscious people, shared devices and people who are not tech savvy this is a great option.
  • Readers who can't read. Writers who feel the need to explain what they write.
  • If only people would actually READ articles before jumping to wrong conclusions, that's the problem with society these days.
  • Optional option if given.. Then good... As store itself lack in apps... Satisfaction to its customers.. Support are slowly going out of uwp...
  • I can't believe their are more and more bogus jurnalist, even in technology. At least this "department" should be conspiracy and bullshit free, but, apparently, stupidity has no boundaries.
  • How long until the option is turned on by default? And then removed?
  • A long, looking time, if ever. The huge catalogue of Win32 apps is Microsoft's biggest asset on the desktop, so what possible reason could they have for blocking them? Seriously, that tin foil hat is coming your brain.
  • And many stupid, crap site like Mashable are reporting-Windows 10 will block your desktop apps from installing.
    How idiot they can be??
  • "Devices like my HP Stream 7, which I use primarily as a tablet, I don't need apps from outside the Store, so being able to block them from installing is beneficial to me." I fail to see how this is beneficial... You're already NOT installing Win32, so what will blocking them achieve? Do you feel the need to block yourself from intalling Win32 in case you ever decide that Win32 is not enough? You're still in control, so won't you just disable that in your case anyway? The only way that would make sense is if you're the admin and you share with with other non-admin users.
  • ...And even then blockig Win32 while allowing store for non-admin users was possible since WIndows 10 launched.
  • Interesting. I see how this can be a security measure. But how will it stop users from directly copying a directory of installed files from another PC? I've done this myself too. Install something. Pickup the folder and drop it into another computer to save the hassle of installing it again. The folder already has all the data necessary for the app and the .exe to launch.
  • Installers do much more than just copying files, most complex applications involves registering COM components, recording settings in the registry, create scheduled tasks (code to execute on computer startup, check for updates every day, etc...). ​These are the real problem with desktop apps as they take part in the system rot that slows down a computer over time and make running the system, even when the app isn't running, heavier. Larger registry means more RAM used for its database, sceduled tasks execute even if you didn't use the app for over a month, etc... ​Centennial (desktop apps distributed as APPX through the Store) are designed to limit these issues by isolating the app in its own private registry branch, private COM registrations branch, private install folder in the filesystem, etc... Enterprise app virtualization called App-V performs about the same encapsulation thing.
    Copying the app folder (typically called xcopy deployment) gives the same benefits. If the app can be installed by xcopy, it means it doesn't register components and settings in the registry or create scheduled tasks.
    ​This means xcopy deployment doesn't really need to be limited, the problem lies with complex MSI or exe installers. And this doesn't mean MSI installers are bad, these capabilities are there for a reason, many apps couldn't work with xcopy deployment and would require APPX or App-V to solve their impact on the system. ​Once the app is running, of course, it can still perform about any change it wants, but they are then crossing the line between normal behavior required for that type of app to run to badly behaving or plain malicious behavior.
  • How about apps deployed through enterprise management solutions, like SCCM? If I could block none store apps with this, and still be able to deploy apps with SCCM I'd be thrilled.