Windows Store Apps: A Deployment Guide for Education

Applies To: Windows 8.1

This guide offers several examples of Windows Store app deployment strategies for academic environments and outlines key considerations when selecting among those strategies. It is written for school district IT pros, school administrators, teachers, and other faculty who are responsible for deploying Windows Store apps on institution-owned or personally owned devices.

The Windows 8.1 operating system builds on the features and capabilities in Windows 8. Educational institutions can purchase or create apps for Windows 8.1 that use the new Windows user interface (UI), but utilizing Windows Store apps can raise certain questions:

  • What is the best way to deploy Windows Store apps in an educational environment?

  • Do all the apps need to come from the Windows Store?

  • Can you use existing deployment technologies and processes to deploy them?

  • What role does the Windows Store play in the app deployment process?

A sample scenario for an educational institution and two user personas provides the backdrop. First is Amy, who is the IT manager for the institution. Second is Mark, who teaches at the institution and has been designated the lead faculty member for Windows 8 device and app deployment. This guide follows Amy and Mark as they deploy Windows Store apps to devices owned by the institution, faculty, and students.

As a starting point, Amy and Mark create a list of Windows Store apps, web apps, and Window desktop applications to be deployed to the faculty and students. They also identify several planning and deployment considerations to address, which include:

  • Identify the resources available to support Windows Store app deployment.

  • Select the best method for deploying Windows Store apps—through the Windows Store or by using sideloading (that is, deploying apps without using the Windows Store).

  • Determine how apps can be purchased and deployed in bulk to faculty and students.

  • Provide appropriate degree of flexibility in what apps faculty and students can use on devices.

  • Identify how app deployment methods affect app ownership models.

These and other considerations are discussed as part of this guide.


Although much of this guide is applicable to both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 devices, this guide focuses on Windows Store app deployment to Windows 8.1.

The following is a list of assumptions about the institution-owned devices described in this guide:

  • The devices are domain joined.

  • Users log on to their device by using an institution-issued account instead of their own Windows account (and possibly Microsoft account).

  • A Microsoft account may or may not be associated with the user’s institution-issued account.

  • Some devices may be running Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition.

In this guide:

See also