Microsoft hopes to revive its Microsoft Store later this year

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 20, 2021
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft had big hopes for the store that it integrated in its Windows 10 operating system. The Microsoft Store, as it is called nowadays, did not live up to its expectations, mainly because it could not attract enough developers and users. Microsoft removed entire sections from its Store since its launch, but it appears that the company is working on reviving its store in a major way.

Filed under rumor for now, because the news is not coming from Microsoft but from unnamed Windows Central sources. According to the report, Microsoft is planning to release a major Store update that introduces "new layouts, WinUI designs, iconography and fluid animations". A redesign, as good as it may be, is not addressing the core issues that is keeping many users from using the Store though.

microsoft store old

The report suggests that Microsoft plans to make fundamental changes to the submission policies of the store. The big changes mentioned by Windows Central let developers submit unpackaged Win32 apps, e.g. exe applications, use custom content delivery networks for hosting and for updates, and use third-party ecommerce platforms in the apps.

The lifting of these restrictions make the store more attractive to developers, as it is no longer necessary to package Win32 applications as an MSIX or rely on Microsoft Store for updates and use Microsoft's commerce platforms. Developers may make use of Microsoft's platforms for updating and commerce, but they don't have to.

The new policy makes it easier for developers to bring their applications to the Microsoft Store. The changes could be announced during the Build 2021 conference and be introduced in the second feature update of 2021, Windows 10 21H2. Windows Central reports that Microsoft plans to bring its major applications, including Teams, Office, Edge, and Visual Studio, to the Store when the changes land.

Closing Words

Microsoft's Store has a lot of issues currently. If you browse it regularly, you will notice that app submissions are really low at this point. While you do get some major releases, especially when it comes to games, it is clear that many major applications are missing from the Store. The Store does have a copycat problem, as you will find unofficial ports of popular open source programs on the store, often listed as commercial applications that you have to pay money for.

The new polices could cause an increase of these submissions to the Store, unless Microsoft steps up its game and introduces better vetting options.

Major software companies could bring their applications to the store easily once the changes land. Will we see programs such as Firefox, Thunderbird or Avira in the Store in then future?

Now you: what is your take on this development?

Microsoft hopes to revive its Microsoft Store later this year
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Microsoft hopes to revive its Microsoft Store later this year
Microsoft may roll out major changes to the Microsoft Store later this year that let developers publish Win32 applications in the store among other things.
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  1. ULBoom said on April 22, 2021 at 2:31 am

    Lipstick on a pig.

    It’s much easier to get stuff from it now, like graphics card driver control panels, although they’re now available in non dch versions (means you don’t have to download that portion from MS) that work just the same from TechPowerUp and other sites.

    Having to download the interface from the store, splitting off just that part, the part you need to change settings was a royal insult to users.

    What I’m seeing above is exactly the problem Xfinity (Comcast Cable TV) has with On Demand. They offer thousands of free movies and TV shows but insist on making you look at a huge graphic of each. They want you scream your desires at your remote, which is even dumber than Alexa. Manual search doesn’t work right, genres are apparently selected by those who never watch TV, a list of what’s available doesn’t exist and so on…I’ve never found anything I feel like watching.

    No, this won’t fix the store, not as long as MS continues to work for themselves. Clueless.

  2. NoUWPsFerEVAz said on April 22, 2021 at 1:08 am

    My ASUS laptop’s(10/1909 Home) system software and services that have UWP App front ends and that’s a disaster for any OEM system software/management software that should come directly form the OEM and never be UWP. The Windows/MS store and no way to just download the app and not install the app because in order to work properly the app needs to have its service back end extracted and installed first before that service’s UWP front end can be properly installed .

    So catch 22 there and I’m so glad I’ve moved on to Linux and can have better control of that process. And all that UWP madness just because MS wants to force the Laptop/PC owners through MS’s app store. I’ll have no more of that madness! I’ve got 10 dual booting with Linux Mint 20.1 on that laptop and have decided that 10/1909 is as far as that goes and that laptop never allowed online again when booted into 10 so that’s Mint there and for all that’s online from now on!

  3. Anonymous said on April 21, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    Even with some of the restrictions removed, there is nothing to earn for the users in encouraging Microsoft in their project to control software distribution. Otherwise one could expect it to become more or less mandatory, with Microsoft exerting censorship for their own benefit, manipulating recommendations, having one more way to spy on users, parasiting on sales, and so on. For little benefit in exchange as they won’t even efficiently filter out malware, not even the ones that they would themselves consider as malware.

    We should boycott that while we still can to kill it in the egg.

    1. Cody said on April 21, 2021 at 8:55 pm

      Well said about Microsoft Store. Lot of lemmings on here that worship Microsoft Store as some type of god. They blindly trust a giant corporation that is anti freedom and for censorship .I forgot to mention Microsoft Store is anti privacy which makes them a communist and a Fascist.

      1. brightspark said on April 22, 2021 at 8:50 pm

        I thought you said you weren’t a troll? What a load of crap you spout. If you hate and distrust MS so much why are you even using Windows, there are alternatives.

  4. Martin said on April 21, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    It would actually be more preferable if it uninstalls fake apps like Google Playstore. It also needs to gain access to its files.

  5. TiredofMicrosoft said on April 21, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    Good, finally. How could a big software company like Microsoft make such garbage?

    It appears Microsoft can only make good software if they buy out some startup, or use open source code. Nothing Microsoft has developed from scratch since Windows 8 to 10 is usable. They need to stop chasing this wet dream of UWP and smartphone UI’s on their desktop operating system. No one asked for that junk. We want a pure desktop OS pre Windows 8.

  6. ram sam said on April 21, 2021 at 11:30 am

    The worst product of MS is the store. Dont understand how they can produce a BS like this.

  7. Corky said on April 21, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Just having a basic search function would be an improvement, that’s unless it’s so hidden that I’ve missed it.

  8. John C. said on April 21, 2021 at 7:45 am

    The main objection I have to installing “apps” via the Microsoft Store is that once you install them, they remain hidden in the inaccessible (unless you run through some hoops) “WindowsApp” folder. And this is even if you supposedly “uninstall” them. Why has Microsoft never been able to understand that when I want to remove a program, I don’t want it to leave any traces whatsoever of that program behind?

    1. jake said on April 21, 2021 at 10:16 am

      Exactly, and deleting Apps or the remnants inside that folder is hard and can even mess up the system, I once took ownership of the WindowsApp folder to delete some stuff and it completely wrecked the Microsoft Store and made installing new Apps impossible, if they want to make the Store better they should start by improving that.

  9. Blocz said on April 21, 2021 at 3:57 am

    Microsoft Store is weird and buggy, after checking for apps update in the setting, the Microsoft Store even listed as one of the outdated apps (if available) and it is also downloading multiple update as one (and installing), so the weird thing here is that when Microsoft Store done installing, it will automatically close and open, what about other currently installing apps? Somehow it’s successfully update itself to the newest version. And there’s a game on Roblox that is running on 64 bit on Windows 10 64 bit and this is the weird things about it, Sometimes, the games itself automatically change to 32 bit (mostly on days that failed to updating the game due to ”bug” in Microsoft Store or slow internet connection), since Roblox locked FPS, I had to use rbxfpsunlocker and it failed to run on a 32 bit Roblox client.

  10. Anonymous said on April 21, 2021 at 2:16 am

    There are many fake apps in the store. By opening the canal wider, it will be another chrome store case

  11. za said on April 20, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Windows should have a proper package manager, and no chocolatey isn’t it.

  12. Steve said on April 20, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    It is impossible to get beyond the distrust associated with the way MS ferret away store apps in the system together with directories with meaningless names possibly aimed at confusing users’ understanding what the content relates to.

    If it comes to a choice between a regular program or a store app, I take the installable program. That doesn’t mean I steer clear of store apps altogether. For example I have a local TV app for which there is no installable alternative. Other than a few, I use an uninstaller to get rid of the rubbish Microsoft seems to think Windows users should have.

  13. chesscanoe said on April 20, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    There is some super software available from the Store, but it’s hard to discover. Much more than a cosmetic change is required if Microsoft Store is to survive.

    1. Cody said on April 21, 2021 at 12:18 am

      I hope Microsoft Store bloatware dies. If i want games or any other software there are many other sites to get that stuff. Being totally dependent on Microsoft store takes away your choices, plus Microsoft Store will spy on you. I like staying private when getting software or games. I will never have Microsoft store installed on my operating system, no thanks.

  14. Anonymous said on April 20, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Long as its written in some crappy webview it will always fail.

  15. Mortov Molotov said on April 20, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    Unless Microsoft really doubles down and creates a Store similar to Linux repositories, I don’t hold out too much hope for it.

    And like with the rockstar game launcher, custom install folder sélection should be a breeze.

    1. ULBoom said on April 22, 2021 at 2:59 am

      I trust most distros more than Windows but Linux is pretty hosed, too. Instead of a giant oppressive kingdom, there are uncountable take it or leave it villages and the commercial distros. Lots of choices for sure, a good thing I think.

      There are so many third party programs for Windows, I never consider the store unless it’s something needed for Windows to run.

      Used to be most of our software was from MS. Today, the ONLY thing we use is Windows and that we modify heavily to shut down or remove their junk to get to just the OS. No Chredge, no Defender, no apps, Win 7 desktop. Works well that way but what a PIA to learn how and maintain.

      Linux on our home server and a laptop, different distros.

    2. pwned said on April 21, 2021 at 9:50 am

      @Mortov Molotov

      > Unless Microsoft really doubles down and creates a Store similar to Linux repositories, I don’t hold out too much hope for it.

      It has its called winget and I suggest you search for “The Day AppGet Died” to see how grim the picture is surrounding winget.

      winget birth was one of extreme prejudice towards AppGet and its developer, Microsoft is up to their usual shenanigans and yet no one Newspapers, TV, etc, no such mediums talk about that and certainly would make a good post on this blog, lets see…

      I dont know if they (Microsoft) plan on including winget as part of the upcoming store changes, I suspect such information is not public.

      Many questions Microsoft needs to answer about the store updates and winget and their antics, any brave journalists out there care to ask the questions?

      1. WinGet said on April 21, 2021 at 2:01 pm

        So they copied AppGet? Big deal. As long as it works well, since it’s from MS direct I trust it more. Anyway, let’s see what this “new and improved” Store is based on first. It’ll probably have nothing to do with WinGet which might be left for IT admins only…

      2. Anonymous said on April 21, 2021 at 6:12 pm

        “since it’s from MS direct I trust it more.”

        Trusting MS borders on SM.

    3. CKing123 said on April 21, 2021 at 1:23 am

      There is winget package manager by Microsoft. It has all sorts of apps from browsers to Malwarebytes to 7zip

    4. beemeup5 said on April 20, 2021 at 10:36 pm

      Linux-like repos for Windows already exist like Chocolatey. No point in MS repeating work that’s already done (better).

      1. aza said on April 20, 2021 at 11:56 pm

        Even if i love Chocolatey, a native package manager that allows for third party repos, would be miles ahead of a Chocolatey.

  16. Cody said on April 20, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    Microsoft store was a dumb idea to begin with. Because it’s just another way for Microsoft to add spyware to your computer and slow things down. Myself i got Store totally removed from my PC.

    1. ULBoom said on April 22, 2021 at 3:09 am

      Agreed. Problem is, the store needs to remain for some updates to install correctly. It’s a small part of the OS’s data scraping.

      Telemetry (where’s that article about MS calling home 5000 times a day?) can be severely throttled in Pro, blocking programs in the firewall, using 3rd party AV’s, system level ad Blocker (AdGuard’s on sale in the ghack’s store), removed Chredge (easy now, hard with Edge, brilliant MS), turning off some services and tasks and some other tweaks. Fun stuff.

      Can’t do much with Home, it’s a self healing, obnoxious ad server, total junk.

      1. Anonymous said on June 29, 2021 at 10:28 pm

        Pro gives better control but you can do a lot to make Home usable.

    2. Greg said on April 21, 2021 at 10:11 am

      lmfao. how could Microsoft Store install spyware on your computer?

      1. James said on April 21, 2021 at 12:48 pm

        Don’t feed the trolls!

      2. Herman Cost said on April 21, 2021 at 11:58 pm

        Cody perhaps exaggerates, but he is more right than wrong. Forcing telemetry on users who don’t want it, forcing updates on users who don’t want or need them, forcing users to act as beta testers, forcing bloatware on users, forcing ads on all but the most sophisticated users who have to jump through hoops to block them, forcing you to purchase a ‘service’ rather than a stable operating system that the user can control, etc., etc., etc. Why would you possibly want to support that?

        Microsoft is a monopoly most people are pretty much forced to use (Linux lovers, your operating system is only for a small minority). And Microsoft takes advantage of that in way too many ways.

      3. Cody said on April 21, 2021 at 8:45 pm

        I’m no troll anybody who blindly trust Microsoft is a mindless lemming without any critical thinking skills. Microsoft has a history of putting telemetry on pc’s which has a negative effect on performance. Microsoft Store is the most retarded thing ever. I don’t want that piece of crap bloatware on my pc, no thanks.

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