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.
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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.
<blockquote><em><a href="#85562">In reply to Narg:</a></em></blockquote><p>A few more "strong" products like Windows RT and MS might end up out of business. They'll always be small niche markets with special needs, but I don't think MS can survive by catering to them.</p>
<p>Reminds me of Windows N, the version that eliminated IE to satisfy the EU which it ended up not wanting it anyway. </p><p><br></p><p>With MS wanting to port full Windows to ARM, to provide a downgraded tethered desktop experience with Continuum-supported phones, and now to provide a means to make full Windows, UWP only, it's clear that they have no coherent strategy and just throwing everything at the wall hoping something will stick.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#85809">In reply to WP7Mango:</a></em></blockquote><p>By all means describe this coherent strategy you are referring to.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#86048">In reply to WP7Mango:</a></em></blockquote><p>Unless UWP is a very, very, long term strategy, it makes no sense to bother with getting full Windows to run on ARM if the future is UWP (not to mention no clear path to increased MS profits with an ARM-based option.)</p><p><br></p><p>The way I see it, the clock is ticking for UWP. If there isn't a significant movement of mainstream Win32 apps to UWP in the next 2 years, the "long term" is going to be the "short term".</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#86073">In reply to jimchamplin:</a></em></blockquote><p>I'm not sure what you mean by "future proof" MS may or may not add features to the legacy APIs but there's nothing inherent in UWP that makes it easier to modify than Win32. </p><p><br></p><p>"Oldness" or "Newness" has no inherent relationship to market value. The Bash shell has been recently added to Windows 10 and makes Win32 look like a youngster.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#86455">In reply to nbplopes:</a></em></blockquote><p>WordPerfect eliminated themselves. I recall the CEO said they weren't interested in supporting Windows and when they finally did it was a total mess. I crashed the first version in the first 10 mins of use.</p><p><br></p><p>Clearly any spreadsheet designed for DOS was going to be at a disadvantage due to the inability to clearly delineate rows and columns. Lotus was resting on it's laurels and didn't recognize the potential of Windows.</p><p>Many companies had no trouble creating sophisticated Windows 3.0 and 3.1 programs despite not having access to alleged "undocumented" APIs.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#86992">In reply to nbplopes:</a></em></blockquote><p>What do you mean by "Where are they"? </p><p><br></p><p>There is no conflict of interest. A company producing a product that can be extended or accessorized by third parties while while offering it's own compatible additional products is standard procedure not only in the computer business but in business in general. Apple, IBM, Amazon, Google all do this just to name a few. </p>
<blockquote><a href="#87185"><em>In reply to nbplopes:</em></a></blockquote><blockquote><em>Third-parties continue to make significant profit selling Windows programs. Far exceeding what is being earned through UWP.</em></blockquote>