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With Windows 8.1 Update, we’re pleased to introduce two features for side-loaded Windows Store apps that make it possible to interoperate with desktop processes (apps or local services) outside of the app container. First, is the ability to use network loopback, and second, a brokering mechanism that allows you to mix desktop and Windows Store app code within the same app.
Both features are fully described on the Enterprise page of the developer center, from which you can also download two complete white papers and sample code.
Though I really like the update, there are still a few things missing in Windows, the Windows Essentials should be bundled with the system, many people who'll be migrating from Windows XP will want to use a desktop mail client (Windows Live Mail), bloggers will want their Windows Live Writer, and it would just be generally easier to update them through Windows Update than letting users find out when and where they could update a Windows ''essential'', also there are a few features from Windows Phone (like Wallet, Microsoft Sudoku, Data Sense, Wi-Fi Sense, Etc.) that would be great on Windows 8.1 (Blue), Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker are great examples of Windows apps that show the ''social'' side if Windows, bundling them would be a godsend for Windows P.C.'s, also Windows Defender could use a ''scan with Windows Defender'' option for separate folders if users suspect the virus to be contained in only one file, rather than waiting 4 hours for Windows Defender to find that virus via a full P.C. scan, and Windows Defender also needs to have a Notification Area Icon like the Microsoft Security Essentials have in Windows XP, Vista, and 7. Also Microsoft could learn from how Apple updates their O.S. X'es, as they (Mac-users) can simply purchase an O.S. upgrade from the App Store, maybe Windows 9 could be released in the Windows Store, and users could link their bank-accounts to Windows Wallet and simply upgrade the system, saving enterprises a lot in the future, as well as consumers. Another suggestion is making Windows Media Player the desktop application for Xbox Music and allowing people to purchase and listen to songs from the Xbox Music Store and Xbox Video Store (for films) via the W.M.P. My last suggestions are allowing settings to be updated via the Windows Store (like Nokia's settings on Windows Phone) and adding Windows' settings to Windows Phone + Windows Phone's settings on Windows, and for my last suggestion I wanted to ask if Microsoft could make a new version of Chess Titans, maybe named Microsoft Chess, thank you for taking the time to read this. :-)
These features are fantastic and can enable us to finally provide our clients with a gradual migration path from desktop to modern. HOWEVER, the restrictions on which users are allowed to side load are still a major problem and make these technical advances unusable on a large number of our projects. For apps that aren't built only for an enterprise's internal use, we can't make assumptions about being domain joined or even being in an org where activation keys will be effectively purchased and deployed. These restrictions, while better than 8.0, are still unnecessarily blocking adoption of the modern platform. The restrictions are also clearly also not a security issue because for scenarios where desktop code has been sideloaded, whether or not a user can also sideload a companion modern app does not change how much damage malicious adesktop code could do. In other words, please please please make the sideloading policy for modern apps be the same as that for desktop apps - let organizations block it if they choose but by default, empower devs to exercise the migration path to the new platform.