For any organization that has deployed applications to Windows 7 (or Windows XP and Windows Vista), the mechanism(s) that were used will most likely work for deploying those same applications to Windows 8 desktops.  The unknown entity for most organizations is the deployment of the new Windows 8 based GUI applications.  The good news for organizations that are already using System Center 2012 is that you can continue to use the same tool set – you just need to make sure you are on SP1.  In Part 16 of the Migration and Deployment Blog Series, Keith Mayer does a great job going through the process of deploying the Windows 8 Apps using System Center 2012 SP1. 

I am including a brief snippet from Keith’s blog below.  For the full article, please go directly to Keith’s blog post.


Among a whole host of new management features, Service Pack 1 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager adds the ability to now deploy and manage Windows 8 apps for enterprises. These Windows 8 apps could be internal apps that have been created by your corporate developers, or they could simply be published Windows Store apps that you have reviewed and would now like to distribute to your Windows 8 users.

In this article, I’ll step through the process of deploying internal Windows 8 apps and published Windows Store apps to users. If you’re familiar with prior releases of System Center 2012, you’ll note that this process is very similar to deploying traditional desktop apps to Windows clients – with some additional options to support the new Windows 8 app model.

At the end of this article, I’ll also provide some additional resources that I’d encourage you to leverage as part of this Migration and Deployment article series with my fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists.

Want to follow along?

If you’d like to follow along with the steps in this article in your own lab environment, you may be interested in this additional Step-by-Step Guide, which will walk you through the process of building a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 pilot/demo lab for FREE in the cloud on our Windows Azure Virtual Machines cloud platform:

After building your lab environment, follow these steps to configure boundaries, boundary groups and the Application Catalog site system roles prior to beginning the exercises below.

Application Deployment Scenarios

In this article, we’ll walk through the end-to-end process of deploying two Windows 8 apps – one that is an example of an internally developed enterprise App and one that is an example of a published app on the Windows Store. As part of this process, we’ll organize the steps into the following exercises:

  • Exercise 1: Create Application for an internal Windows 8 app package ( .appx package )
  • Exercise 2: Create Application for a published Windows Store app ( deep link on Windows Store )
  • Exercise 3: Distribute Application Content to System Center Distribution Points
  • Exercise 4: Deploy Applications to User Collections
Exercise 1: Create Application for an internal Windows 8 app package ( .appx package )

In this exercise, we’ll work through the process of defining an application in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 for an internally-developed Windows 8 app package that we wish to deploy to users. This process is used when deploying internal line-of-business applications that have been created as Windows 8 apps.

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Harold Wong