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Microsoft Planning To Revive Quick Assist via Windows Updates

Microsoft's Quick Assist app will be getting enhanced by Windows quality updates, starting this month and the next, and these updates may overcome issues associated with its switch to being a Windows Store app.

That's the gist of a Tuesday Microsoft Quick Assist announcement. Quick Assist lets two PC users provide remote help on computer issues. Quick Assist uses the Remote Desktop Protocol to let one PC user view and/or take control over another PC user's machine. All that's needed to use Quick Assist is an Internet connection and a Microsoft account for the persons providing the assistance, according to this Microsoft document description.

App Download and Install Restrictions
Microsoft's announcement explained that some users couldn't install Quick Assist after Microsoft switched it from being an embedded-app Windows capability into an application that's just downloadable from the Microsoft Store.

People with managed devices sometimes weren't able to download the new Quick Assist app from the Microsoft Store because they lacked organizational permissions, a Microsoft support article acknowledged. The support article had suggested that such organizations could use the Microsoft Store for Business or Education to distribute the app to users. However, that advice is rapidly fading as an option, as Microsoft is planning to end those stores early next year.

The coming December 2022 and January 2023 Windows quality updates, though, will ease matters for Quick Assist users, Microsoft's announcement suggested. In some cases, users of the old Quick Assist embedded app will get the new Quick Assist functionality.

"After you install the update, the original version of Quick Assist will have the same functionality that's in the Store app version," the announcement explained.

Moreover, these updated non-Microsoft Store versions of Quick Assist will have the same product lifecycle support as the Windows lifecycle.

"The original version of Quick Assist will continue to be supported for the duration of the lifecycle of the versions of Windows listed above," the announcement added.

Quick Assist's switch to being a Microsoft Store app originally was foreshadowed in this April Office Insider post. That post had oddly indicated that the "current built-in Quick Assist app is reaching end of service." Performance and security improvements were other reasons for making Quick Assist a Microsoft Store app.

Windows Quality Updates
A Microsoft December 2022 quality update will usher in this Quick Assist change for "Windows 10, versions 20H2, 21H1, 21H2, and 22H2" and "Windows 11, version 21H2."

A Microsoft January 2023 quality update will bring this Quick Assist change to "Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSC."

Microsoft's move to make Quick Assist into a Microsoft Store app had elicited grumblings from IT pros early on, since some of their end users weren't granted Microsoft Store download privileges, as well as app install privileges. The complaints were captured in this May 15 Bleepingcomputer.com story, for instance.

Microsoft now seems to be addressing those concerns by reviving the Windows embedded-app version of Quick Assist via the coming Windows quality updates.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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