The Windows 10 Store may list desktop programs directly after all

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 10, 2014
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

When Microsoft launched Windows Store in Windows 8, it was disappointing to see for many that the store carried only applications that users could install on their systems directly from within the store.

Commercial apps could be purchased right from the store which was convenient for many. Then later on links to desktop programs were added as well, but those merely redirected users to sites which meant that the store was not used to download or buy these programs directly.

Only a tiny fraction of desktop programs are listed in the store as of today which makes it less than usable for users who are looking for desktop programs.

This could change with the release of Windows 10. Microsoft's drive to merge different environments and stores could result in desktop programs being listed directly in Windows Store as well.

It is not clear yet how that will work out exactly as the Windows 10 Preview that the company released last week does not ship with a new version of Windows Store.

The most likely outcome is that Microsoft will list desktop programs directly in store to improve the current system that is only linking to those programs.

Windows users can benefit from this as they save time when it comes to finding programs, are safer as they download the programs from a safe provider and purchase these programs directly from Microsoft instead of having to deal with one or several third-party payment systems instead.

Another thing that is not clear yet is if updates will be handled by Windows Store as well. The advantage of this is that programs would be up to date automatically on the majority of user systems, something that is not the case currently unless apps ship with their own auto-update feature.

According to a leaked blog post which was pulled later on, Microsoft may also introduce a volume purchasing program that provides enterprises with options to buy apps in volume on the store, deploy those apps and manage licenses for these apps.

Another Enterprise only feature that could find its way into the store is the creation of company-specific stores. Enterprises could populate the store with apps they select so that employees can only select to install those on their systems.

Questions need to be asked about the inclusion of programs in the Windows Store:

  1. Who can add desktop programs to the store?
  2. Does it cost money to do so?
  3. Are there limitations in regards to the types of programs?

If the current store is anything to go by, it is likely that only a fraction of Windows desktop programs will find their way into the store.

Some companies will take advantage of it as it provides them with another revenue source, while most freeware and free software companies and authors may not list their programs in the store. This does not even take into account programs that have been abandoned by their authors.

A rumor made the rounds recently on the Internet that Microsoft would enforce the store, so that Windows users have to install desktop programs from it.

This is very unlikely and even if that is planned at one point in time, it won't happen with the release of Windows 10. One of the advantages of Windows is the incredible amount of software programs available for the system.

Here is my take on it

If Microsoft improves the store so that desktop programs are offered right in it, then it will be limited in the beginning. You will find software programs listed there that you can download and install right away, but the majority of programs will still be available on third-party sites, and Microsoft won't prevent users from using those sources.

Now You: Should Microsoft include desktop programs in Windows Store directly?

Chances and dangers of  a Windows Store carrying desktop programs
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Chances and dangers of a Windows Store carrying desktop programs
The article discusses what effect the direct listing of desktop programs in Windows Store can have on users and the Windows environment.
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  1. PhoneyVirus said on October 12, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Yes and no, when it comes to touch wanna bees I say Yes, but when it comes to the Desktop No. Honestly I didn’t like the idea from day one and there was a point in time were Microsoft had to start removing specific applications from their store because of Malware taking place. So with that your still likely to get infected, it’s not hard for the auto updates to change their source and take over the system that way with Malware, there’s so many ways that it could possibly get into your system, even if it’s been supplied by Microsoft. I still like visiting third-party websites, but for ones like your parents or those ignorant people that’s to lazy to think for their self then yeah it would be nice. Nevertheless nice refresh Martin.

  2. InterestedBystander said on October 12, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Perhaps one unspoken purpose of the app store is to remedy the badly broken Windows security model. If I understand correctly (quite unlikely, but never mind), with applications written for the Win32 API the programmer can achieve full access to the system.

    new System.IO.DirectoryInfo(“c:\\”).Delete(true);

    — for instance. (I don’t know that the C# code quoted would actually work, but the idea is that the programmer has a lot of power.) As far as an untested exe file offered for download, heuristic analysis is about the only way to tell if the application will hose your system.

    But with apps, MS uses the runtime environment to limit permissions. The programmer doesn’t get the full system API. Not to say apps are intrinsically harmless… maybe it’s more accurate to say they are more easily policed.

    So apps in the MS store are policed, and I think it is done in part by checking the system permissions used by the app. Including applications in the store — Windows .exe files — means a much harder job of policing the programs. Now MS has to check code pretty carefully, because the API has a lot more potential for backdoors, hidden trojans, etc.

    That’s what Linux trusted repositories are all about. But we know the problems — excellent applications like the Palemoon browser wait in the queue for years before they make it into the repository. Others, like the Code::Blocks IDE, are in the repository but the version listed is out of date.

    So in my very under-informed opinion, MS faces serious hurdles in creating a trusted-applications repository for the desktop. I think the company is very aware of that.

    I’d welcome anyone who can set me straight on any of this. I really don’t know much, the above is mostly just a bystander’s impression of the situation.

  3. p3t3r said on October 10, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    …that’s why i migrate to Kubunu :)

  4. fokka said on October 10, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    i would love to see desktop software in the store as well, with programs only one search away and without the need to klick “next” a hundred times and still end up with a bunch of adware and unwanted toolbars, it would also be awesome for updates, but if we look at the store as it is right now this future just doesn’t seem possible.

  5. M. Padilla said on October 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    So, seeing your capture with free / open software being sold at $14.95, we can asume that Windows Store is basically bullsh*t?

  6. p3t3r said on October 10, 2014 at 10:52 am

    VLC-Player or K-Lite for 14,95 $? Advertising text in broken german as used by russian spammers?

    Go away, MS-Store.

    1. Paul(us) said on October 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      Lately I am reading that Microsoft was cleaning up there store as crazy. But the first thing that I noticed by seeing Martin’s store picture was like p3tr stated the free software VLC-player at $14,95.
      When Microsoft cant keep order in there house I say: Please no Microsoft store at all.

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