Newsletter Archives

  • Apps vs. applications


    Ed Tittel

    By Ed Tittel

    In Windows 10 and 11, there are two parallel architectures for building executables.

    Let’s call the older and more familiar architecture “applications.” It uses traditional, more conventional development tools and frameworks and results in programs that typically run as .exe files.

    The newer alternative was introduced with the debut of Windows 8 in 2012 as “Metro-style apps,” using tiles in the Windows Start menu with a variety of executable formats based on what is called .appx technology.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.42.0, 2023-10-16).

  • Win10 Fall Creators Update Store problems appear to be solved

    Well I’ll be…

    I bumped into Günter Born’s article this morning, saying that the “Something bad happened” bug has been fixed. Flipped over to my 1709 machine and, sure enough, as soon as I clicked on the “Store” icon, it updated itself.

    I now have a new icon in the taskbar – more colorful than the old one – and the store now identifies itself as “Microsoft Store.”

    That’s the difference between updating through Windows Update (where you can control things) and updating through the Store.

  • The Windows Store is about to become the Microsoft Store

    Makes me wonder if the meatspace Microsoft Stores are going to become “Microsoft Store”s, too.

    Mehedi Hassan in MSPowerUser.

    The change is supposed to happen in Fall Creators Update, version 1709, but I have build 16294.1 and all I see is the old Windows Store icon, with Windows Store sporting a minor facelift.

  • Not all Windows Store apps will run on Windows 10 S

    From ‘Softie Rich Turner, on the MSDN forum:

    Just because an “app” comes from the Windows Store does NOT automatically mean that it’s safe & suitable for running in Windows 10 S. There are some apps that are not allowed to run on Windows 10 S, including all command-line apps, shells and Consoles.

    That’s news to me. I bet it is to you, too.

    Thx, @teroalhonen.

  • Win10 Creators Update will let you block apps from outside the Store

    This one’s starting to echo around the blogosphere.

    Windows 10 Creators Update brings several old settings – they used to be in the System applet – up to a new high-level applet called Apps.

    In the new Apps > Apps & features setting, there’s a new option called Choose where apps can be installed from. (Presumably, the wording will change before the final version ships, unless we get a new dangling participle option with.) You’re given three choices:

    • Allow apps from anywhere (that’s the default)
    • Prefer apps from the Store, but allow apps from anywhere
    • Allow apps from the Store only

    The buzz is about the last option, which should lock down machines so they can only install apps from the Store.

    Paul Thurrott has the most thorough explanation I’ve seen on, but the options function as you would expect.

    Of course, the worry is that Microsoft is creating a version of Windows that’ll be limited to Windows Store apps, possibly in conjunction with a “free” version of Windows that doesn’t work much better than Windows RT. It’s the “Windows 10 Cloud” direction.

    It might happen at some point, but I don’t think it’s cause for concern at this point. By the time Windows Cloud rolls around, we’ll have plenty of competing options.

  • Updating Store apps over slow connections

    Recapping the posts that RC Primak made last week:

    This may be a bit off-topic, but it has to do with Windows 10 updating of Windows Store Apps over a slow DSL connection.

    How can the Windows Store download 75 MB And not get even 10 MB of that bandwidth applied toward one single update of a Store App?? I’ve had this happen nearly every time I try to do the Windows 10 Windows Store App updates over a slow AT&T DSL Internet Connection. It doesn’t happen on public networks. I have shared updating over my own network only, and I have used third-party WiFi analyzing tools and found no one is connecting to my home network other than myself. Is Microsoft ignoring the setting not to share updates with everyone on the Internet when I allow sharing only over my home network?

    I measure my real bandwidth used with SoftPerfect Research’s Networx utility. Networx is also used to determine that on true broadband connections (1.5 MB/sec or better), such wastage of bandwidth is rare to nonexistent.

    Regarding not respecting the Share Updates Over My Network Only vs. to anyone on the Internet:

    It’s true! My Windows 10 Pro installation is not respecting my restriction. As long as the Share over My Network Only item is ticked, but the ability to upload updates to other computers is enabled, this restriction is being ignored. This changed behavior of the Windows Store updates began in December with the Cumulative Update for December 2015.

    This change is so far only affecting my Windows 10 Pro laptop, not my Windows 10 Home tablet. On the tablet I have not enabled any sort of updates sharing, due to its processing limitations.

    It appears that since the Cumulative Update, I can’t allow sharing of Windows Store updates over my local network without having my bandwidth used to share updates all over the world via the Internet.

    I won’t risk more bandwidth wastage testing the more general Microsoft or Windows Updates for this change in the connection sharing settings behaviors. The user (Administrator) settings are definitely being ignored, at least for Windows Store Apps updates.

    My PC to router connection is WIFi, not wired.

    I have disable all updates sharing, and then only the bandwidth hogging absolutely ceases. I can now update my own Store Apps and I get full use of the bandwidth used for my own updates and nothing else unexpected.

    This looks very suspicious!

    Probably something they already have an answer for. But maybe a good idea to post so that they know about a potential issue. My interim solution was to use public broadband WiFi.

    If the same siphoning off of some bandwidth for some non-updating use is indeed happening, over true broadband (say, 1.5 Mb/sec or better) the amount of the performance hit when downloading would be small enough so as not to be noticed by most people. It wouldn’t conspire to cause timeouts and endless download restarts on downloads over 12 Mb for Store Apps, the way AT&T DSL at my house is experiencing. No such timeouts ever occur with the main Windows Updates service. That updater is remarkably persistent! But it doesn’t have this kind of background chatter.

    I did succeed in getting the Store Apps updated using public broadband WiFi. I also downloaded the ISO for the Windows 10 Pro Media Creation Tool. But then I found out that my laptop’s aging DVD burner was no longer up to the task. (USB media creation is not an option when the USB installer wants to use EFI Fast Boot. USB+EFI is not an option in my laptop’s BIOS.) Three “coasters” later, I am going to order a replacement DVD drive. This may be the final hardware replacement for that laptop. Time for a new 2-in-1 or somesuch.

  • Windows Store automatic updates can be turned off in all versions of Windows 10

    If it’s universal, this is a Real Big Deal.

    If you’re running Win10, give it a try.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • What’s wrong with Windows Store?

    Amazing how many gaps still exist.

    InfoWorld Tech Watch.