New Windows 10 Feature Blocks Desktop Apps

Posted on February 27, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 70 Comments

New Windows 10 Feature Blocks Desktop Apps

An unannounced new feature in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build will let you emulate the rumored Windows 10 Cloud product version and block the installation of desktop apps.

Note: I believe this new feature was first reported by MSPowerUser, but it’s readily visible in build 15042 for anyone to find.

Of course, to see this functionality in action, you need to enable the new feature first. To do so, open Settings (WINKEY + I) and navigate to the new Apps area. In the default view there—Apps & Features—you will see the option in question: Installing apps.

If you open the drop-down menu, you will see the following options: “Allow apps from anywhere” (the default on mainstream Windows 10 versions), “Prefer apps from the Store, but allow apps from anywhere,” and “Allow apps from the Store only.”

(Presumably, Windows 10 Cloud will default to—and require—that last option. But we can only speculate about this unannounced new Windows version at this point.)

So let’s see what these options do.

Prefer apps from the Store, but allow apps from anywhere. With this option enabled, I attempted to download and install Google Chrome using Edge. To its credit, Edge initiates the download without any silliness. But when you attempt to run the installer, you receive the following dialog.

Allow apps from the Store only. With this option enabled, I attempted to download and install Apple iTunes using Edge. Again, the browser didn’t question the download. But when I ran the installer, the following dialog appeared.

One imagines that this is what Windows 10 Cloud users will always see. But again, that’s speculation.

Speaking of which, I’m curious about the possibility of enabling this functionality on a PC-wide basis. That is, could I as a PC admin configure all user accounts to prefer Store apps or block desktop application entirely? This might be handy for local accounts, like those used by children, for example.

Either way, very interesting.


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