Should PC Developers worry about Windows Store?

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 5, 2016

When Microsoft launched its Windows Store alongside its then new operating system Windows 8, it was for the most part a mobile store made available on the desktop as well.

There were no win32 applications offerings in the store, and it was clear that Microsoft had to fight an uphill battle in trying to convince users and developers to give the company's new store a chance.

Many developers ignored, and are still ignoring, Windows Store even while new features and improvements are introduced to it by Microsoft.

Major apps, Instagram, Pinterest or WhatsApp are still nowhere to be seen in the latest iteration of Windows Store.

Microsoft's answer to the lack of developer interest was to create the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) which allowed developers to create one application for all devices running Windows 10.

The company pushed Windows 10 on its Xbox platform, Windows Mobile, and desktop PCs for the most part. This increased the reach of the platform significantly and allowed Microsoft, and other developers, to produce games and apps for all these platforms simultaneously and with minimal effort.

Microsoft made that clear with the announcement that major Xbox games, most thought to be exclusives for the platform, were also been made available on Windows Store for devices running Windows 10.

Rise of the Tomb Raider, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, or Quantum Break will all be made available on Windows Stores, and while most of those are produced or published by Microsoft, there is a chance that third-party developers will do the same, especially if they don't have plans to release a win32 version of a game.

That's a good thing on one hand, considering that gamers can purchase and play these games on their PCs even if they don't own a Xbox.

It reminds me however of how Microsoft tried to get users, and specifically gamers, to Windows Vista when it came out. It made a handful of games Vista exclusive, and we all know how that turned out in the end.

Epic Games' Tim Sweeney sees the UWP as "the first apparent step towards locking down the consumer PC ecosystem and monopolising app distribution and commerce".

He fears that Microsoft will force developers and companies, including his own, to distribute their software via Windows Store exclusively in the future as there is no system in place currently that allows companies to build their own version of Windows Store and distributing UWP apps and games through it.

Sweeney admits that side-loading -- the downloading and installing of apps and games from third-party sources -- is supported by the Universal Windows Platform but is difficult to enable for users and something that Microsoft could change or revoke at any time in the future.

Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft's Xbox Division stated on his Twitter account that Microsoft had no intention of putting up a walled garden in regards to its Universal Windows Platform.

Windows has always been an open ecosystem welcoming the contributions of hardware and software partners, and will always continue to be. UWP is a fully open ecosystem, available to every developer, and can be supported by any store. Broad range of tools. We will discuss our next steps with the Universal Windows Platform at //build later this month.

Sweeney response was that he liked the sound of the revelation, and that he was looking forward to //build to get more details about the planned openness of the platform.

For Microsoft, UWP is a work in progress much like Windows 10 is a work in progress that evolves constantly. It is puzzling that Microsoft would not inform software companies about the company's intentions in regards to the Universal Windows Platform, but that appears to be the case.

The Build developer conference is held from March 30, to April 1, 2016 in San Francisco. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft will reveal at the conference about its plans for the Universal Windows Platform.

Should developers be worried then? I think they should be cautiously optimistic at this point in time, and wait and see what Microsoft announces during build.


Should PC Developers worry about Windows Store?
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Should PC Developers worry about Windows Store?
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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