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In Windows there is a place under the Control Panel called Get Programs and Install a program from the network (in Win 7 at least), possibly a slightly different name in Vista, but it was there too.

The question is basically: How do you publish programs to that so users can go there and install?

Bonus follow up: Is it a good way to deploy optional programs? (Compared to using GPO's.)

In Windows 7 you can go to Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features, and on the left hand menu: Install a program from the network.

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Asking two questions makes it difficult to properly award good answers. You should break this into two questions. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/39223/… –  citadelgrad Jun 8 '10 at 14:36
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This IS where you install programs that are published (as opposed to "assigned") via GPOs.

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You're right! For some reason a couple of hours, a couple of gpupdates and a restart did not trigger and populate the list. However, this morning my test application was there! –  Gomibushi Jun 9 '10 at 8:17
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I must say though, that this should REALLY be documented better. Bad MS... –  Gomibushi Jun 9 '10 at 8:19
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I've been searching for the past 30 minutes to find the answer to your question and it appears that there is not a single shred of documentation on installing a program from the network other than this ridiculously non-detailed page: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Install-a-program At first I believed it would be publishing apps via GPO's but this isn't the case.

It would seem as if there is a specific way to "advertise" applications. That's the term I keep finding. However, I cannot find any information beyond that. I'll keep looking.

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Isn't that what happens when you publish an application via GPO?!? –  Massimo Jun 8 '10 at 14:16
    
It may be and that would make perfect sense. What doesn't make sense is the lack of documentation on a product that has been available for 3/4's of a year. –  JohnyD Jun 8 '10 at 14:37
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Gomibushi, please try publishing an MSI via GPO (windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/…) and see if the applications are available under the "Install a program from the network" listing. –  JohnyD Jun 8 '10 at 14:39
    
Given Microsoft's habit with Windows Vista/7 of moving around and renaming things that have been around since Windows NT, this is very plausible... –  Massimo Jun 8 '10 at 14:39
    
@Massimo: Nope! It is not! I tested that a year ago with SCE2007 and Vista, and again now with SCE2010 and Win7. I think it is set by some reg setting, pointing to a share or something... –  Gomibushi Jun 8 '10 at 15:12
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