If you've used Windows 8.x for any length of time, you know how hard it is to find apps once they're installed. You can pin them to the Start screen, or leave them in the App screen, but locating them later is like trying to find your car after a 6 hour shopping spree. And, the way the Windows 8.x Start screen stores app tiles in a horizontal linear fashion, means you could be scrolling sideways for days. Of course, the best practice is to just use the built-in Search function in Windows 8.x, but I've found that people rarely do that for some reason. It could be due to how the old Windows 7 style Programs Menu trained folks that it was necessary to be app hunters to find anything. Many people have complained and cried for the Programs Menu to be brought back, but in truth, it was an inefficient design.
Microsoft is looking to change how apps are grouped and located – at least for businesses. Today Microsoft is announcing Apportals. Apportals gives Windows 8.x users the ability to nest related apps under a folder-like tile structure. Let's hope Microsoft brings this same feature to everyone, because we all need it.
So, for example, 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 opens and shows all of the apps configured to display there.
In addition to just apps, the Apportal can be configured to house links and data associated with that specific task or group.
Apportals are designed to work through the Corporate App Store and are configured based on Active Directory participation.
Apportals will work with Windows 8.1 apps, but also Windows 7 legacy desktop applications.
Those attending WPC 2014 will get a first look at the new technology through a Windows Apportal session.
Read more about Apportals on the official site: http://www.microsoft.com/enterprise/apportals