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Sideloading on non domain joined PC

    Question

  • I am working on a project that requires sideloading a Windows RT app, as described in http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsstore/archive/2012/04/25/deploying-metro-style-apps-to-businesses.aspx. The app is signed, and we have set the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Appx\AllowAllTrustedApps = 1. 

    However, a mysterious third step is mentioned:

    "Activate a special product key by using a script on the target machine to enable sideloading. We'll go into more detail about how the IT admin will acquire the product keys in an upcoming blog post. The product key only needs to be install and activated once on the PC."

    What is this key? Where would I get it?

    Note this is for non domain joined machines, and non enterprise SKUs.

    Thanks

    John

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 4:34 PM

Answers

  • Hi John,

    This question is more appropriate for the Windows 8 IT Pro forums on Technet. I did a search there and found the following information for you:

    An Enterprise SKU is not required. You can side-load on Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro if you've activated a Sideloading Product Key. Details on how to get such a key are not yet available.

    See:
    How to Add and Remove Apps
    Managing Client Access to the Windows Store
    Windows ADK Release Notes

    Sideloading apps on Windows 8

    Sideloading is supported on the following editions when you activate a sideloading product key:
    • Windows RT
    • Windows 8 Pro
    • Windows 8 Enterprise*

    If you look at the blog you quoted (Deploying Metro style apps to businesses) you'll note that the quoted paragraph is is in the section "Preparing other PCs" in contrast to enterprise PCs.

    --Rob

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 5:06 AM
  • Let me clarify and post back.  However, to be clear, we are ensuring that confidence of app delivery for the user is important to us, hence why a specific path.  You also mention that it is a win32 app with a winrt side app.  One thing I will caution is while enterprise apps don't have to receive store certification, we strongly suggest that *ALL* apps regardless of deployment pass the Windows App Certification Kit (WACK), which is the same initial test the store certification runs.  In the same post you reference we indicate this as much as even if you aren't going through the store, you should ensure it passes WACK to ensure it is always compatible with future versions of Windows.

    Tim Heuer | Program Manager, XAML | http://timheuer.com/blog | @timheuer

    (if my post has answered your question, please consider using the 'mark as answer' feature in the forums to help others)

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 7:47 PM

All replies

  • I'm pretty sure you're going to need enterprise SKUs.  I think the script/keys are related to volume license product.

    Tim Heuer | Program Manager, XAML | http://timheuer.com/blog | @timheuer

    (if my post has answered your question, please consider using the 'mark as answer' feature in the forums to help others)

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 4:44 PM
  • Thanks Tim. Wow, that is very scary. We have been working on this project for quite a while now, and when we started out there was no mention of that requirement. It was either a domain joined machine where this could be enabled by group policy, or a regular machine that had to have some black magic performed. But if this truly will not be available for hundreds of millions of non enterprise SKUs, that is a huge problem for our client's product! Say it aint so!
    Saturday, August 18, 2012 4:50 PM
  • create a enterprise store with SCCM?

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 5:09 PM
  • I don't thinks that will work, Dave, because this project is going to be widely distributed, not just for one enterprise. It is a Win32 app that has a sideoaded RT component. It was my understanding this could be done when we embarked on the endeavor, but the requirement for an enterprise SKU is really causing concern.
    Saturday, August 18, 2012 5:15 PM
  • Let me clarify and post back.  However, to be clear, we are ensuring that confidence of app delivery for the user is important to us, hence why a specific path.  You also mention that it is a win32 app with a winrt side app.  One thing I will caution is while enterprise apps don't have to receive store certification, we strongly suggest that *ALL* apps regardless of deployment pass the Windows App Certification Kit (WACK), which is the same initial test the store certification runs.  In the same post you reference we indicate this as much as even if you aren't going through the store, you should ensure it passes WACK to ensure it is always compatible with future versions of Windows.

    Tim Heuer | Program Manager, XAML | http://timheuer.com/blog | @timheuer

    (if my post has answered your question, please consider using the 'mark as answer' feature in the forums to help others)

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 7:47 PM
  • Any clarification, Tim?
    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 7:14 PM
  • @john waters,

    In other words, communication mechanism used by your Win32 app and RT component might not be available in future versions of Windows.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 3:08 AM
  • Hi John,

    This question is more appropriate for the Windows 8 IT Pro forums on Technet. I did a search there and found the following information for you:

    An Enterprise SKU is not required. You can side-load on Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro if you've activated a Sideloading Product Key. Details on how to get such a key are not yet available.

    See:
    How to Add and Remove Apps
    Managing Client Access to the Windows Store
    Windows ADK Release Notes

    Sideloading apps on Windows 8

    Sideloading is supported on the following editions when you activate a sideloading product key:
    • Windows RT
    • Windows 8 Pro
    • Windows 8 Enterprise*

    If you look at the blog you quoted (Deploying Metro style apps to businesses) you'll note that the quoted paragraph is is in the section "Preparing other PCs" in contrast to enterprise PCs.

    --Rob

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 5:06 AM
  • Hi,

    Did you find out the answer to this question?   The MSDN page now says:

    To activate a sideloading product key

      • Open a cmd prompt with administrator privileges and type the following:

        Slmgr /ipk <sideloading product key>
        

        Where <sideloading product key> is the 25 digit key to enable sideloading on the computer.

    But there is no mention about where to get this key. Another site suggests that it can be bought through the volume licensing site, but I can find no further mention of that.

    Our demo will ideally be available on a tablet for salesmen to use, and remain available for longer than the 1 month that the developer license allows. 

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 8:58 AM
  • "Wow, that is very scary"  - John

    Couldn't agree more! It's now Oct 5 and there is still no information available on this magic trick. MS makes it very difficult for its loyal developers (ISVs) to develop LoB applications for Windows RT. I agree WACK is important, but do not close the ecosystem. An open ecosystem is what made the PC successful years ago. We must be able to load LoB apps directly to our small businesses customer's WinRT devices without going through the store, without having to deal with AD, and certainly without having to buy an Enterprise SKU!

    Please, please tell me you are going to make it easier for us.

    Thanks.

    Edit: 

    Yes I know about http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/04/19/managing-quot-byo-quot-pcs-in-the-enterprise-including-woa.aspx but this still requires AD - the RT device is NOT joined to the domain but the user still needs to be. That does not fix our issue. Thanks,

    Friday, October 05, 2012 7:51 PM
  • I have a Surface RT device, how/where do a get a sideloading product key?
    Sunday, October 28, 2012 11:26 PM
  • Same question as Mike and the others.

    How do I obtain a "Sideloading activation key"?

    The documentation mentions it in many places, but refers to the volume licensing page, where there is no information.  And I don't have any volume licensing agreement, nor do I see why I should need one to install software that I've written myself.

    "Details on how to get such a key" were not available in August, but now it is late October and the product has shipped.  Since sideloading on ARM is advertised as a supported feature, details should be available now, right?

    Monday, October 29, 2012 11:36 AM
  • Same question.  We would like to test our internal app on a new Surface, but cannot find the magic Key for side-loading apps.

    Monday, October 29, 2012 11:50 AM
  • OK, so a week has gone by since release, with no help at all from Microsoft.

    I found this very recent article which, together with information we already knew about, seems to confirm the worst fears:

    http://www.zdnet.com/the-enterprise-sideloading-story-on-windows-8-its-complicated-7000006742/

    In particular, if you Google the SKU for the sideloading key in that article, you will indeed find re-sellers who will sell you one.  Or rather, one hundred at a time.

    The list price mentioned in the article is $30 per key, but they are only sold in packs of 100.  And the resellers you find by Googling the SKU sell them for about $2800 per pack of 100.  Such a deal!

    Basically if you want to install an app you've written yourself on a handful of Windows-RT platforms, and conform to Microsoft's directives about how to do it without violating any license, you need to pay them $3K for the privilege, whether its half a dozen RT tablets or a hundred.

    As the ZDnet article points out, a developer license is basically a "free" sideloading key, but it is specifically prohibited by Microsoft when you get the developer license to use it as such.

    So, you either pay them $3K for the privilege of installing your own software on your own hardware, or you have to violate the terms of the developer license (and put up with the hassle of monthly renewal and the possibility of revocation).

    It's unclear whether some person could buy 100 sideloading keys and resell them individually. Given that everything else seems designed to make sideloading your own apps prohibitively expensive, it's a pretty good bet that reselling the keys individually also violates some license...

    This is really a corner they've painted themselves into by monopolizing app distribution with the store. If sideloading keys were easily and cheaply available, people could shop at competing 3rd party stores after activating one.



    • Edited by LagunaD Thursday, November 01, 2012 10:14 PM
    Thursday, November 01, 2012 10:09 PM
  • Yikes!

    Thanks LagunaD for the information. At last we have some info! Good article, I think. I couldn't find any info (besides the 6 months old post by MS) about this.

    Our worst fears indeed! "Wow, that is very scary." as John said!

    Do you understand that (as an ISV), if I buy a pack of 100, this allows me to sell ONE app 'GreatApp1' to ONE client -OR- this allows me to sell my ONE app 'GreatApp1' to many different clients/customers ? It's not clear to me from the article.

    Obviously, I can live with $3,000 for 100 different customers.. but I can't afford to buy a pack of 100 if I sell one copy to one customer.

    Thanks!

    Friday, November 02, 2012 4:25 AM
  • If this is just a developer scenario, can't you use the VS Remote debugging tools? That is what I used to install my app to the Surface.
    Friday, November 02, 2012 3:55 PM
  • Hello,

    Windows 8 Volume Licensing Guide speaks to where to get Side-loading keys.

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/4/3/9439A928-A0D1-44C2-A099-26A59AE0543B/Windows_8_Licensing_Guide.pdf

    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. VAMT - Volume Activation Management Tool - Download link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en

    Friday, November 02, 2012 9:34 PM
  • I created a blog post on how to get an app sideloaded, including making a self-signed cert, activating a device for sideloading, and installing the app.  Hope it helps someone besides me:

    http://andya.posterous.com/how-to-windows-8-modern-app-sideloading

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 2:39 PM
  • @AAndy - so the first and last steps are done rather easily for you via Visual Studio (create a package).  It packages the app, provides you with a temporary cert (since you use a test CN in yours as well it is the same trust level) and provides you with an install script that installs both the cert and the package.

    Tim Heuer | Program Manager, XAML | http://timheuer.com/blog | @timheuer

    (if my post has answered your question, please consider using the 'mark as answer' feature in the forums to help others)

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 5:33 PM