Using the Windows Store in an Enterprise Environment

IT_Crowd used Ask the Experts™
In our environment, we are currently blocking the Windows Store through Group Policy.  However, this has lead to some issues with certain Windows Store/UWP apps (namely Photos and Sticky Notes) intermittently becoming corrupted.  While we've chalked that up to the applications attempting to update from the Store and being unable to do so, we're not entirely sure if that is the case or if it is caused by another issue with our environment.  We can generally get around it by resetting the app through PowerShell, but as that's a rather adverse user experience, we're looking to unblock the Store for users.  However, there are some concerns about the Store being used for many non-Enterprise related apps (as well as the fact that it advertises many games on the launch page).

The question is essentially two fold:

  • For those of you who are currently blocking the Windows store, are you experiencing similar issues with Windows Store applications?
  • For those of you who are not blocking the Windows store, what sort of measures in place (if any) to govern which applications users can install from the store?
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Distinguished Expert 2018
1) no, not seeing that issue.

2) for tightly controlled environments, we disable the store and remove most, if not all, modern apps, and use applocker to prevent applications from running. For most environments though, we allow apps to be installed. Store apps are sandboxed, and (presumably) screened to even be in the store. So the security risk is minimal as for non-work apps getting installed, we view that as a policy/HR problem. Some organizations don't mind personal apps as they foster good work/life balance. But out right games and such...even if blocked, if a user is willing to play games on work time, they'll find a way. They'll sit at their desk and play on their iPhone. Or find online web games (and https is the ultimate way to bypass most firewall blocks.)  So blocking store games is not an effective way to deal with an HR issue.
Colleen Kayter4D Assets

Blocking the store also blocks useful tools such as Translator, M-W Dictionary, and Sway. I agree with Cliff that it's really about company policy, not group policy. Trust your users to follow company policy regarding computer usage just as they do regarding alcohol at work.

As a former sys admin with 65 users, I had a lot more trouble with them opening malicious e-mail attachments than installing games on their computers.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems Administrator

No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I have recommended this question be closed as follows:

Accept: Cliff Galiher (https:#a42088693)

If you feel this question should be closed differently, post an objection and the moderators will review all objections and close it as they feel fit. If no one objects, this question will be closed automatically the way described above.

Experts-Exchange Cleanup Volunteer

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial