Microsoft talks about Windows 8 Metro business apps

Windows 8 isn't just for fun. Microsoft is also creating ways for businesses to use the OS and its Metro user interface. In the newest entry on the official Windows Store blog, Microsoft's Arik Cohen talks about how businesses can both release and manage Metro style Windows 8 apps.

Businesses will have the choice of releasing their Windows 8 Metro apps directly from the Windows Store or they can also set up a way for their IT workers to secure distribute the apps without going through the formal Windows Store certification process.  Using the Windows Store for releasing apps will give software a greater reach. Cohen states:

You can offer your apps for sale directly to the business user, with each individual user making the purchase directly from the Store. Another option is to offer the app as a free download, then manage the sales and licensing directly with the business. Your app would then use authentication to bring specific functionality to each of your customer’s users.

Businesses that want to release their apps outside the Windows Store can have their IT workers use the Windows App Certification Kit on those Metro apps to make sure that the software will run as planned with no issues. Those apps must also be signed by a Certificate Authority that is used by all of the PCs that will run the particular Metro app.

Those PCs must also be "enterprise sideloading enabled" on Windows 8 to allow non-Windows Store apps to run on those machines. The blog goes into detail about how IT admins can either release the Metro style apps with the initial Windows image or install the apps at runtime.

Managing the apps after they are released can also be handled by the company's IT admin. Cohen writes:

The Store is enabled by default for Windows 8. To access the store, all the end-user needs is a Microsoft account. IT admins can use familiar tools like AppLocker to allow or restrict apps from the Windows Store. This way, their users get access to the rich variety of apps in the Windows Store, but IT admins can restrict access as needed.

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