Store accounts and the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app

CompanyPortalAppLogo_thumb9In this blog post I will answer a question that I get, with a lot of customers, and that’s if it’s required for end-users to have an account for the app store, of their platform, to download the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app. The app store that I mean here is can be the Google Play app store, the Apple app store,  the Windows Phone app store or the Windows app store. All these stores match with their platform and require their own store account to download apps.

Before I can answer the initial question, I first have to answer another question. That question is if it’s required to use the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app, simply because a store account is not required if the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app is not required. In this post I’ll try to answer both of these questions by providing tables for a nice overview of the requirements per platform. In general this is applicable for both Microsoft Intune standalone and Microsoft Intune integrated with ConfigMgr 2012.

Microsoft Intune Company Portal app

Now let’s start with the first question, is the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app required? In almost all the scenario’s the answer to this question will be, yes. Also, keep in mind that the advised scenario for every platform is to install the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app  and to enroll the mobile device. To be complete the following table lists the functional requirements for the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app  for every platform.

 Platform Enrollment and policies Application deployment
Android Yes Yes
iOS Yes1 Yes
Windows Phone 8.0 No Yes
Windows Phone 8.1 No Yes
Windows No Yes

1 It is possible to enroll iOS devices without using the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app. That can be achieved by either using portal.manage.microsoft.com on an iOS device, or by using the corporate device enrollment feature with Microsoft Intune standalone.

Store account

That brings me to the second question, is the store account required to get the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app? Well, this also differs per platform. To make it easy I can say that it’s required for the non-Microsoft platforms. The following table provides a quick overview per platform, including the alternatives for the Microsoft platforms.

Platform Store account required Alternative
Android Yes N/A
iOS Yes N/A
Windows Phone 8.0 No Microsoft Intune Company Portal app for Windows Phone
Windows Phone 8.1 No Microsoft Intune Company Portal app for Windows Phone 8.1
Windows No Microsoft Intune Company Portal app for Windows 8.1

Conclusion

At this moment the best method for end-users to enroll their device is to use the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app, if possible. In case the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app is not required for the enrollment, like with Microsoft platforms, it’s still advised to install the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app to better manage devices and applications.

Back to the original question, this would mean that, at this moment, a store account is always required for non-Microsoft platforms. For Microsoft platforms it depends on how the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app is deployed. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I like to use the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app for the Microsoft App store, if possible, and in that case a store account is required.

2 thoughts on “Store accounts and the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app

  1. great post Peter and nice to see some clarification on this. Is there anyway to patch Windows phones through Intune/SCCM without a Microsoft Account? We have a lot of users that dont want to sign up but we want to keep their phones up to date as well as any apps.

  2. You can’t push platform updates to Windows Phones, but you can push the Company Portal app. Use the appx version that’s available on the Microsoft Download Center. That should allow you to make application (updates) available to the end-users. However, that will not work for deep-link applications of the Windows Phone Store, as that would still require you to logon.

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