Microsoft to Block Non-Windows Store Apps in Windows 10?

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
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A few sites out there have been running with this alarmist headline today, and boy does it sound scary, right? Could windows 10 be going on full device-style lockdown, requiring you to use apps from the Windows Store? Well, not so fast. First off, as Beta News reports, this is only an option which can be enabled should you so desire, and while it is in the current preview version of the Creators Update coming this year, there is no indication if it will be in the final version or any future version at all.

While the concept of a locked down Windows where you, the user, do not have the freedom to install the software of your choice does sound like a grim dystopian future, and it may actually happen on the future Cloud version of the operating system, Microsoft's alternative to ChromeOS, it is also not without its merits. The majority of all exploits used to infect Windows machines come not from the Operating System itself, but rather from installed applications and browser plugins. What if you could have a package manager like under Linux, a Windows Update which updates not only Microsoft software and components of the operating system to the latest version, but also manages all installed software? This could be a huge benefit, helping make sure there is not some vulnerable outdated application installed somewhere you forgot about, and it also removes the need for each software vendor to install their own updater app, constantly pestering you about updates.

If they go down this road, however, I'd insist that they take more of the Steam approach, where if you purchase your software elsewhere, you can add it to the system using a key or other means, so they don't monopolize the distribution of software for all Windows machines, which account for some 90% of all computers out there. There also needs to be an out, maybe requiring special administrative privileges, for those times you just need that software that's not in the official store.

"Why would you want to do this? Well, blocking non-Windows Store software means blocking traditional programs, and these are the ones that are more liable to be malicious or pose a security threat. Apps that have made it into the Windows Store have -- in theory -- been vetted to some degree, and are less able to wreak havoc. Here's what you need to do:"
 
First off, as Beta News reports, this is only an option which can be enabled should you so desire, and while it is in the current preview version of the Creators Update coming this year, there is no indication if it will be in the final version or any future version at all.

Everyone make sure and just skip over this part, its not relevant

eyeroll.jpg
 
What percentage of apps downloaded these days contain spyware, viruses, or trojans by most experienced users?

Most of the viruses these days comes from surfing the net and finding in exploit in the ALR/sandbox or some related tool like Adobe.
 
Taking off the tin-foil for a second, this would be fantastic for companies and corporations to ensure that nothing can be installed that doesn't come through the store which will have to be vetted before appearing. That alone will help tackle a huge part of security concerns.

That said, there's no way Microsoft implements this as anything more than an option for the foreseeable future. Yes they are pushing the Windows Store. Yes they will continue to push UWP apps. And yes we may eventually end up at a point where all of your software comes from the Windows Store. However that won't happen for an age and chances are there will be ways around it (see: Android, iOS).
 
Taking off the tin-foil for a second, this would be fantastic for companies and corporations to ensure that nothing can be installed that doesn't come through the store which will have to be vetted before appearing. That alone will help tackle a huge part of security concerns.

That said, there's no way Microsoft implements this as anything more than an option for the foreseeable future. Yes they are pushing the Windows Store. Yes they will continue to push UWP apps. And yes we may eventually end up at a point where all of your software comes from the Windows Store. However that won't happen for an age and chances are there will be ways around it (see: Android, iOS).

We use a ton of apps, most are custom designed in house, none of which will appear anywhere on a store. To make sure we aren't downloading licensed apps and installing them willy nilly, we have several packages in place which audit that stuff.
 
I am fine with it for a free version of Windows. Like the upcoming cloud version, but any OS that I pay for I should be able to do whatever I want with it.
 
imho good idea for most peeps not every one, lost count of fixing systems where the user was the main culprit for getting a system infected it could potentially save a ton of wasted man hours.
 
Microsoft already limits your ability to uninstall the several Microsoft apps included with Win10 or hide the Microsoft store. This current beta option seems a logical version of extend then extinguish.
 
That said, there's no way Microsoft implements this as anything more than an option for the foreseeable future. Yes they are pushing the Windows Store. Yes they will continue to push UWP apps. And yes we may eventually end up at a point where all of your software comes from the Windows Store. However that won't happen for an age and chances are there will be ways around it (see: Android, iOS).


Define foreseeable future. This is the problem I have with Windows 10, and Microsoft being able to push updates with no user control. If Microsoft ever decides to force Windows Store only, they can just push an update to do that.

After Microsoft's Windows 10 Nagware pushed onto Windows 7, they simply haven't earned enough trust to give them full control to change my OS after I installed it on my machine.

Hell, AFAIK, even Apple lets you stop iPad from accepting major OS changes.
 
I don't see how this feature affects anybody here except for those of us who are asking for additional security and user restrictions in Win 10 Pro and SA variants.

1) You have to turn it on optionally
2) How frequently are you adding new software to your machine, really....
3) This also fixed one of the most long standing issues with Windows PC's, software removal.

Poorly written win 32 apps that add a whole ton of crap to the registry, startup and various other places and make changes to core windows files to improve that program to the detriment of other programs, security, or system stability itself, which Microsoft ultimately takes the brunt of the blame for, have been the bane of my professional IT carrier for far too long.
 
As long as they don't take away the user control or "accidentally" break the default behavior in a future update it should be ok.

I could see me installing Win10 on a granny's pc, putting some win32 installs in that she needs, then turn this option on so she doesn't accidentally pick up an email virus perhaps.

It does sound like a creepy direction but at least for now it's optional.
 
No. It has no merits. Taking away control over my machine HAS NO MERITS!

It's not taking away control as long as it has the proper secure opt outs. It gives you more control on what happens on your computer in preventing unwanted programs and activities.
 
No. It has no merits. Taking away control over my machine HAS NO MERITS!
When all these appx packages appear I just:
STOP MICROSOFT!

Get-appxpackage | remove-appxpackage
removes them all thankfully, I have a 68 line powershell script now to disable things I dislike in win10, it grows every time I update windows...

I doubt Microsoft is arrogant enough to try this. If they do it then I can see linux finally taking over.
Windows 10 have already got me over to Linux dualboot, I'm now more in linux than Windows, I ain't missing much either....
It wasn't a thought in windows 7...
 
It does sound like a creepy direction but at least for now it's optional.

If local malware were not a HUGE problem for Windows this would be a lot creepier. I currently have this setting tuned on my Surface Pro 3 running this build. One interesting thing of note, it doesn't prevent Steam from installing apps when it's on but does block installing from File Explorer or a command window. Not sure what the mechanism is, it doesn't appear the most robust thing, nothing like app locker for instance.
 
Gabe Newell and Tim Sweeny are probably losing their shit right now....

Given microsoft's behavior i wouldn't rule out a patch that 'accidentally' turns this on by default and then is difficult to disable. Or maybe a innocent not forced upgrade to the free version of windows 11 with this permanently enabled.
 
Define foreseeable future. This is the problem I have with Windows 10, and Microsoft being able to push updates with no user control. If Microsoft ever decides to force Windows Store only, they can just push an update to do that.

Absolutely they should force Windows Store as the only source for software. ASAP. It'd be the ultimate self immolation maneuver.

Let's get stupid.
 
The ability to block non Windows store apps wouldn't be a bad thing from a security perspective. More control is better than less.

Yeah, I have no problem with an optional setting for this. It should never be on by default, though.
 
I am fine with it for a free version of Windows. Like the upcoming cloud version, but any OS that I pay for I should be able to do whatever I want with it.
You get a free copy of Windows with every pre-assembled, authorized computer device you buy, just like you get free iOS with every iPhone and iPad, and free Mac OSX with every Macintosh you buy /s

Only difference is you can get Windows and install it on non-authorized hardware.
 
So we're just going to ignore that this is just an optional feature and shows a warning screen by default that you can ignore, and continue on with the Windows 10 hate circlejerk?

Wouldn't be a Windows 10 thread on [H] if we didn't! :whistle:
 
If local malware were not a HUGE problem for Windows this would be a lot creepier. I currently have this setting tuned on my Surface Pro 3 running this build. One interesting thing of note, it doesn't prevent Steam from installing apps when it's on but does block installing from File Explorer or a command window. Not sure what the mechanism is, it doesn't appear the most robust thing, nothing like app locker for instance.

Oh yes the 'ol security scare tactics. "You want to be safe don't you?" Just like Edge was supposed to be the "safe" browser because its sandboxed in UWP; meanwhile every week there's a new exploit uncovered in Edge - carried over from IE no less - that MS hasn't bothered to patch even after knowing about it for months.

The reality is malware and ransomware programmers will laugh at UWP and store restrictions the same way they laughed at UAC as they circumvented it with ease -- it's full of vulnerabilities and exploits yet to be discovered, it just hasn't been profitable to yet because most users don't open the store except by accident.

The bigger irony of course is that 99.99% of the store apps are worse than malware - the quality is that bad. Malware authors actually look at the current state of store apps - almost the exclusive domain of third worlder science projects - with their ugly tiled mobile UI, underpowered WinRT10 framework and pointless UWP wrapper and shake their heads- "That is just so sad, it's like Microsoft isn't even trying."
 
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The bigger irony of course is that the store apps are worse than malware - the quality is that bad.

It takes nothing to package a Win32 app for the store now. That's one reason why Microsoft is going here now. And yeah, there are real security implications here because who the hell runs devices in a environment where security is an issue and allows just anything installed on machines? We've removed that ability on all of Windows 7 machines years ago, no one gets admin permissions.
 
We're reducing your control of your computer for your own good. Optionally... for now.

And isn't that the way you're supposed to use a PC? You're not supposed to run always as root under Linux or always as admin under Windows. That's the basic principle of least privilege user. At any time using a PC, a person should use only the permissions they need and no more. And it is for one's own good.
 
As long as it remains optional, I'm fine with them putting it in there. But, no, generally speaking, I do NOT want anyone limiting me for "my own good". *I* decide what is for my own good, and how best to achieve it. If MS wants to provide options that I may decide to use, then that's fine. If there are suggestions and discussions to help me realize the best way to achieve "my own good", I'm fine with that, too. So, even if it is foolish to run always as Root under Linux, if I knowingly decide to do that, then that's my own choice and I'll have to accept responsibility for it. But MS doesn't get to force that sort of thing on me, and if it tries, I will refuse to go along, to the point of no longer using its products if that is what is necessary.

Providing options is a good thing; forcing your rules on others is not.
 
A few sites out there have been running with this alarmist headline today, and boy does it sound scary, right? Could windows 10 be going on full device-style lockdown, requiring you to use apps from the Windows Store? Well, not so fast. First off, as Beta News reports, this is only an option which can be enabled should you so desire, and while it is in the current preview version of the Creators Update coming this year, there is no indication if it will be in the final version or any future version at all.

While the concept of a locked down Windows where you, the user, do not have the freedom to install the software of your choice does sound like a grim dystopian future, and it may actually happen on the future Cloud version of the operating system, Microsoft's alternative to ChromeOS, it is also not without its merits. The majority of all exploits used to infect Windows machines come not from the Operating System itself, but rather from installed applications and browser plugins. What if you could have a package manager like under Linux, a Windows Update which updates not only Microsoft software and components of the operating system to the latest version, but also manages all installed software? This could be a huge benefit, helping make sure there is not some vulnerable outdated application installed somewhere you forgot about, and it also removes the need for each software vendor to install their own updater app, constantly pestering you about updates.

If they go down this road, however, I'd insist that they take more of the Steam approach, where if you purchase your software elsewhere, you can add it to the system using a key or other means, so they don't monopolize the distribution of software for all Windows machines, which account for some 90% of all computers out there. There also needs to be an out, maybe requiring special administrative privileges, for those times you just need that software that's not in the official store.

"Why would you want to do this? Well, blocking non-Windows Store software means blocking traditional programs, and these are the ones that are more liable to be malicious or pose a security threat. Apps that have made it into the Windows Store have -- in theory -- been vetted to some degree, and are less able to wreak havoc. Here's what you need to do:"

Yep, the alarmist headlines come from the clickbait sites.
 
I will be happy when only Microsoft has ROOT access to my computer because I trust them.

In before the usual peeps say this is a good thing... oops too late

 
[Its currently optional]
Everyone make sure and just skip over this part, its not relevant

Fuck that noise, it's obvious what the long term goal is.

People, you have an alternative now. I switched the house to Linux Mint back in October when I realized that all my favorite games and 1/3 of my entire Steam library run on Linux. All my hardware 'just works,' even Creative sound cards and my Highpoint/Marvell RAID controllers/existing RAID arrays. Linux on the desktop is at the point now where I'm sure most people on this forum could make the switch. Keep one 7/10 SSD around for streaming Windows-exclusive console ports and you should be good to go.
 
Yeah it's only optional till they make it forced on as the only option. Optional -> defaulted to on -> only via a work around -> forced as the only option. That is how it will work as their grip grows stronger.
 
I don't have a problem with this, as long as it can be disabled.

I'd even go so far as thinking this should be enabled by default on Windows Home, just like updates, to protect clueless people from their own folly.
 
So we're just going to ignore that this is just an optional feature and shows a warning screen by default that you can ignore, and continue on with the Windows 10 hate circlejerk?

It would not be H without it.
 
I can see this happening as an "option". This is something I would have enabled for my parents computer. I don't see microsoft completely locking down windows to only use "approved" software only.
 
has no merits...lol
if microsoft spent time thinking about it, developing it, implementing it as on option for now, believe me, M$ will ease you to a mandatory one, just give them time.
 
I will be happy when only Microsoft has ROOT access to my computer because I trust them.

1c3etp.jpg


Obviously, not having control of your computer is a bad thing.

An optional tie in with software to a Microsoft package manager that can handle updates automatically alongside the rest of the OS components could be very useful though.
 
What percentage of apps downloaded these days contain spyware, viruses, or trojans by most experienced users?

Most of the viruses these days comes from surfing the net and finding in exploit in the ALR/sandbox or some related tool like Adobe.
Lol. You used Adobe like my users do. :D
 
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