Last month, Microsoft released a new, updated Quick Assist app, with a new logo (the one in the image above), as it announced that it was being moved over to the Microsoft Store. The transition was due to be made today which means Quick Assist is no longer available as a native app on Windows 10 and 11.
For those unaware, Quick Assist is Microsoft's in-house remote assistance app. Windows administrators are visibly irked by the company's latest move, openly expressing their annoyance in the comments of the announcement post. Here's a gist of those things put forward by Twitter user Matthias Waltniel, who is a Microsoft Endpoint Management Consultant:
Quick Assist was a great product, but this new version has some challenges:— Matthias Waltniel (@MWaltniel) May 10, 2022
- Requires local admin permissions during install
- Installs next to the previous version
- Cannot start "elevated" as admin
Will the previous version really stop working on 16th of May?
Most of the other Windows admins have expressed similar views in the announcement thread too. One of them explained how it can be much more useful to have something like a deployable Group Policy (GPO) instead of this:
Not only does the new version require per-user installation from the Microsoft Store, but the installation requires admin rights. Yikes!
Is there a mechanism for deploying the new version to all users on all machines? A simple GPO deployment would be preferred. Maybe an MSI could be made available? I am a one-man IT department managing roughly 70 Windows PCs and do not have any type of more sophisticated software deployment mechanism in place.
I am hoping that some simple solution is in the works to replace what seemed like an ideal solution that has now been taken away.
Microsoft's Nathan Pfeifer, who penned the announcement article, has responded to one of the comments explaining that an underlying functionality in Quick Assist made it necessary to push it via Microsoft Store. Though, Pfeifer assured that the feedback was being forwarded to Microsoft:
Understand the frustration of pushing a user to download the Store app to get a remote assistance app.
The nature of using remote assistance is that one of the parties is stuck and needs help – so it can be frustrating.
There is some underlying functionality, in how we currently have this set up, that needed to be adjusted that led to this.
That being said, this is time sensitive and sometime in mid-May the old version will no longer be usable.
Thanks for the feedback! It is being passed along, rest assured.
In addition to that, Kapil Tundwal, the Prinical Software Engineering Manager for Quick Assist also clarified that the deployment of Quick Assist via Store is to push out security updates faster.
Thx for this feedback Sir James. I am Engineering Manager for Quick Assist App and work for Microsoft. We will be updating the existing app soon. The reason we chose Microsoft Store is because it allows us to send security updates faster. 1/4— Kapil Tundwal (@ktundwal) May 11, 2022
You can view the official announcement post at this link.