The installation of programs in Windows 10 can now be blocked, unless they come from the official Store.
To install an application in Windows, just double click on the executable; That’s been true for decades, and it’s one of the reasons Windows has completely dominated the market.
But that is about to change, or at least that’s what the latest news related to UWP, the Windows platform, looks like.
The obstacle to installing programs in Windows 10
The novelty has come to Windows 10 version 15042 received by Windows Insider users; This is an unstable version where new features are tested before everyone uses them.
From that version on, programs may not be able to be installed unless they come from the Windows Store. In other words, you will not be able to install .exe, .msi, or any other files; If you have not installed it in the Store, you will not be able to use it.
Instead, when you double-click, a pop-up window will appear informing you of it; and encourage you to open the Store to find the app that suits your needs.
An option not activated by default
Before taking the torches and going to Microsoft headquarters, we must clarify a very important point: for now this option is not activated by default.
In the Settings app, in the new Apps section that will arrive with the Creators Update, a new option allows us limit where the programs come from. We have the option to allow apps from any site, prefer apps from the Store, and allow only apps from the Store.
If we choose the second option, the message that will appear when we start a program just be informative; will have an Install button anyway to bypass the limitation right there.
If we choose the third option, we can only install apps from the Windows Store, no possibility of skipping the block.
Therefore, for the moment, this decision should not pose a problem. On the contrary, it allows us to protect our computer by disallow the installation of strange programs. However, it can also be a worrying precedent.
Why it may make sense to block the installation of programs
This is not the first time that Microsoft has blocked the installation of software for security. When I implemented the code signing, many drivers were blocked until its developers signed the code; this deg many users without being able to use their hardware, especially if they did not know how to bypass this protection.
Today the code signing is something essential and common. Maybe Microsoft wants to do the same with the Windows store? Remember that the apps in the Store use the UWP platform.
Most programs you use on your computer are win32 applications; That means they use the API, the Windows set of tools and functions. It is a platform that has been with us, in some way or another, since the beginning of Windows (although not always with that name).
With Windows 8, Microsoft tried to adapt its platform to the new times with UWP. But UWP has not achieved expected adoption, and most developers still trust win32.
But we repeat again, for the moment is an option that is not activated by default; if someday Microsoft activates it and we find that we can’t install programs overnight, it probably wouldn’t be pretty.
Images | Bleeping Computer | MSPowerUser