Windows 8.1 Update: Sideloading Enhancements

Windows 8.1 Update: Sideloading Enhancements

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Windows 8.1 includes the ability to run modern apps, typically delivered from the Windows Store.  But for organizations that develop their own line-of-business apps, we have also provided a mechanism called “sideloading” that allows the installation of apps without using the Windows Store.  Once enabled, any app can be installed.  For more information on this process, including how to deploy apps using an enterprise app store built on Windows Intune or System Center Configuration Manager, see Sideload Windows Store Apps in Windows 8.

As organizations continue to adopt and build Windows Store Apps, we are making changes to minimize the requirements around obtaining sideloading keys for deploying internal line of business apps, including:

    • As part of Windows 8.1 Update, we are enabling sideloading for all Windows 8.1 Pro devices that are joined to an Active Directory domain, matching the current behavior of Windows 8.1 Enterprise.  So if you are using either of those two versions, you won’t need to worry about sideloading keys or activation at all.
    • As of May 1, 2014 customers in the following Volume Licensing programs (regardless of what product they purchase) will be granted Enterprise Sideloading Rights and provided with a sideload key at no additional license cost.
      • Enterprise Agreement
      • Enterprise Subscription Agreement
      • Enrollment for Education Solutions (under a Campus and School Agreement)
      • School Enrollment
      • Select and Select Plus
    • Also starting May 1, 2014, other customers who want to enable sideloading will be able to purchase an Enterprise Sideloading key for $100 through the Open License program.  An unlimited number of devices can be enabled for sideloading using this key.

With these changes, we believe all organizations will be able to leverage sideloading for all of their Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT 8.1 devices. For additional information on sideloading licensing, review the Windows Volume Licensing Guide.

5 Comments
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  • Hi Tsf,

    Sideloading keys are for RT, Pro, or Enterprise only.

    Thanks,

    Ben

  • tsf
    0 Posts

    Is it possible to sideload with Windows 8 *Standard* (not Pro, Ent or RT)? Trying to decide whether to purchase Pro or Standard licenses for my business. If sideloading is possible with Standard, are there any differences between that and Pro specifically related to sideloading? Thanks.

  • Hi Ddobric,

    VL customers can use the sideloading key on Windows RT systems because they are considered companion devices. The licensing does require RT, Pro, or Enterprise.

    Thanks,

    Ben

  • ddobric
    0 Posts

    Is this also valid for Windows RT systems? Means, you pay 100$ for volume license key which can be used on Surface RT and other none-enterprise Windows?

  • As far as I can see, there's still no way to readily obtain .Appx files of Windows Store applications so images with preloaded apps can be created. So this helps with the LOB situation, but not with the overall use of Windows Store apps in enterprise/education.