No Win32 Updates in Windows 11's Microsoft Store
Microsoft revealed earlier this month that the Microsoft Store in the company's Windows 11 operating system would add support for Win32 applications among other things. The Windows 10 store supports UWP applications only, one reason for it being a ghost town since introduction in Windows 10 in 2015.
Not everything is bad when it comes to the Microsoft Store. Apps that get installed may be updated automatically, just like apps on Android or iOS devices do. The relaxing of Store submission guidelines, the acceptance of Win32 applications, was seen by many as a way to revive the store.
Not all users would use the Store, even if Win32 applications were offered in the Store, but the ability to download virus-tested programs such as Firefox or Adobe Photoshop directly from the Store certainly appeals to some users.
The latest update to the App Developer Agreement puts a damper on the support of Win32 applications in Microsoft's Windows 11 Store.
Special requirements for Win32 applications are listed on page 32 of the agreement under EXHIBIT E: TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR WIN32 APP PACKAGES. Microsoft describes the following requirements when it comes to updates for Win32 applications:
Updates to Apps. Section 3(b) of the Agreement is amended and restated to read as follows: Updates to Apps are not required to be submitted through the Store. End users will not be able to receive updates from the Store. Apps can be updated directly by You via your App that is installed on a Windows Device after download from the Store.
This means, that Win32 applications won't be updated through Microsoft's Store. Developers may publish new versions, but updates won't happen through the Store. Microsoft notes that applications can be updated through in-app updates. Not all Win32 applications support in-application updates.
The only benefit of downloading a Win32 application from Microsoft's Store is that the executable files have been tested for viruses.
Does it mean that some Win32 applications, those without internal update functionality, will become out of date and in the event of security updates, insecure? Has Microsoft a plan to address this? What happens if a developer publishes an update of a win32 application to the Store? Will users be informed about these updates and get options to install the new copy of the application to replace the old? Or do they have to do this manually for each installed application? Lots of questions and no answers at this point.
Updates were one of the key reasons for installing Store versions of Win32 applications. With that gone, there is barely anything left that can be seen as an advantage over downloading programs from developer websites or even third-party download sites.
Now You: What do you think is Microsoft's reasoning for blocking Win32 program updates through the Microsoft Store? (via Dr. Windows)Advertisement