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:
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?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.