Microsoft Lists 'Known Issues' with Intune and New Microsoft Store Integration

Microsoft this week published troubleshooting tips and "known issues" for organizations attempting to use the Microsoft Intune integration with the "new Microsoft Store" to distribute applications.

The troubleshooting tips didn't describe the current state of the Intune integration with the new Microsoft Store, but it apparently is still at the preview stage. The integration had been targeted for completion (reach "general availability") in "H2 2022," according to this July 21 article, which also serves as Microsoft's general FAQ document on the topic.

Known Issues
Intune users currently may not be able to find some apps in the new Microsoft Store, the announcement indicated. The reasons for the possible search failures have to do with the following characteristics of the apps:

  • Not available in your region.
  • Only available for ages 12 and above.
  • A paid app, which is not supported.
  • An Android app. Accessing Android applications requires additional steps and apps. To learn more, see Windows Subsystem for Android.
  • A Microsoft Store for Business app that is not available publicly in the consumer store.
  • Not available for download and management through Intune.

The third item, where Intune users can't find paid apps in the new Microsoft Store seems contradictory to Microsoft's intent, which is to make it easier for organizations to distribute apps. Apparently, it's just a temporary measure. For instance, Bryan Keller, lead product manager on the Intune team at Microsoft, made an Aug. 5 comment in this July Microsoft "update" article saying that "paid apps will not be reintroduced in the new solution as of this time."

Another caveat in using Intune with the new Microsoft Store to distribute apps is that some Win32 apps may not be supported because Microsoft doesn't know enough about them. Apps also can get "stuck" during processing, and there can be problems with apps that use ARM64 installers, Microsoft's announcement noted. Apps can get flagged as being "not applicable" in logs if a device isn't a Windows device with support for the Intune Management Extension or if the installers can't be applied.

Q1 2023 Deadline
The known issues associated with the Intune and new Microsoft Store integration are important for organizations because Microsoft is planning to "retire" existing processes that worked, sometime in "Q1 2023." Retirement means the end of availability and support, according to Microsoft's lifecycle glossary.

Namely, Microsoft will be retiring the Microsoft Store for Business and the Microsoft Store for Education in that time period. As it's now late February, organizations have just one month remaining to figure out Microsoft's new app distribution process. Comments in Microsoft's July 21 FAQ generally suggest that there's lots of confusion about this coming change.

Organizations are getting switched over to a new process based on Windows Packet Manager and its winget command-line tool for installing apps on Window 10 and Windows 11 machines. Winget can be used as a standalone install tool, but just for free apps.

If organizations are licensed to use Microsoft Intune, or another mobile device management solution, then they can distribute apps to end users via the so-called "Company Portal." The Company Portal is similar to the Software Center in Configuration Manager, according to a comment by Joe Lurie, a senior product manager for Microsoft Intune, in Microsoft's July "update" article. Basically, though, the apps get distributed using Intune or another mobile device management solution under Microsoft's new scheme.

Microsoft gave no sign that many known issues described this week for Intune's integration with the new Microsoft Store might affect the coming Q1 retirement schedule for the Microsoft Store for Business and Microsoft Store for Education. That schedule apparently hasn't slipped.

About the Author

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


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