Microsoft launches Apportals to improve app management on Windows 8

Microsoft launches Apportals to improve app management on Windows 8

Summary: Microsoft is continuing to attempt to reduce Windows 8.x hurdles for its business users with a new app-management tool called Windows Apportals.


Microsoft is continuing to try to reduce the Windows 8.x hurdles for its business users.


Its latest attempt is a new technology meant to simplify the way apps are grouped, located and distributed that the company is calling Windows Apportals.

Here's how Microsoft officials described Apportals in a July 11 Springboard Series blog post:

"A Windows Apportal is a Windows 8.1 app that can integrate your entire Line of Business (LOB) stack into a single, modern, touch-based experience. The concept behind Apportals is simple – introduce the same nested folder structure common in a desktop OS to the modern mobile OS. The result is a UI experience that allows the user to drill from the Start screen (composed of Live Tiles) to another mini-Start screen (composed of Grid Tiles). And best of all, because an Apportal is built out of the OS, everything that runs on Windows runs in a Windows Apportal, including Desktop Windows 7 Applications; Modern Windows 8 Apps; and Web Applications."

Here's a simplier explanation, courtesy of Windows IT Pro's Rod Trent.

Trent noted that it can be tricky to find apps once they are installed on Windows 8. Sometimes they are pinned to the Start screen. Sometimes they are on the App screen. And scrolling horizontally, as one does with Windows 8, rather than vertically, can make the task even harder. (As Trent notes, users could simply search for their installed apps, but many don't do that.)

With Apportals, Microsoft is trying to eliminate this complexity. Trent explains how this will work:

"If you have a series of apps related to the HR department, you can group all of these apps under a special HR Tile. Once a user taps the HR tile, a new Start screen open and show all of the apps configured to display there."

Apportals will be deployed and automatically updated through users' Corporate App Store. They will include support Desktop Windows 7 applications, Windows Store/Metro-Style Windows 8 applications and Web applications or any combination thereof in a single Apportal. Enterprise users will be able to build their own Apportals or rely on Microsoft partners to build them on their behalf.

Microsoft officials are on tap to provide further details about Apportals at the Worldwide Partner Conference the week of July 14.

Topics: Windows 8, IT Priorities, Microsoft, IT Policies


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Er...

    So this is like the folders we have on the Android devices we've moved to?
    • Umm, take a look to this videos first

      Check the "Wonderful world of Marketing" video serie before making such assumption...
    • no its not

      A folder is just a folder, users control what they put in the folder. This sound more like taking a company portal and turning it into an app. It seems like IT can create an app that has links to other apps be they desktop modern or web. This is great for users in the hr example you could have a tile under the main one that links to your CRM product and then one that goes to your time keeping web app and then one to say an older desktop app used for payroll. I would suspect that the user will only need to download the one app and IT can add or remove products from it at will.
  • Groups of apps in the start screen?

    Isn't that grouped in the start screen? You can create groups of apps and name each group...

    Someone is confusing...
  • awesome

    This sounds awesome. It sounds like the solution to some of our deployment dilemmas. I am assuming / hoping that basically I can create a tile for different roles that includes links to all the apps that user role needs regardless of app type. So my users can go to the corporate store and download the hr app which is as the name implies a portal to all the apps and web sites that my user needs.
  • Microsoft launches Apportals to improve app management on Windows 8

    I like it. This will be great for businesses and another reason to upgrade to Microsoft Windows 8. Making the admins lives so much easier.
    • sounds like an old joke...

      "what we need is a standard that encompasses all 15 standards..."

      "now we have 16 standards..."
  • WFWG

    Windows for workgroups, we've now come full circle.
    • or Windows 3.1 Program Manager

      Yup. We've come full circle.
  • Don't Understand This

    This concept seems like it should have been something that was implemented since Day 1. Why is it coming out a couple years after Win8 release?
  • Windows 8 and 8.1

    They are dead they are crap and gne for good and if Microsoft
    Wants to make windows 9 work take the crap App Store and the crap cloud out and then you will a great windows and saying you hearing people because you do not hear us at all
  • This is comedy gold

    So they've reinvented Program Manager, and think it's innovative. Man, tech companies really do not have any long term memory.

    Business still isn't going to move to Windows 8, though. There's nothing gained by using metro compared to what's already been invested in Windows 7.
  • Can Really Simplify the Start screen

    I can now group all apps with similar or congruent functions under the single tile that appears in the start menu. Now I have them grouped and have to scroll through all the groups to get to the one I need. This is a great advancement, I can see when voice command becomes prevalent using the word for the group and bringing up all the relevant apps.