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Microsoft's latest attempt at making Microsoft Store more attractive could work

When Microsoft launched its store, then called Windows Store, alongside its Windows 8 operating system, it became clear quickly that it did not have much to offer. The main issue of the store was the lack of applications and games. Popular applications like WhatsApp, third-party web browsers, gaming platforms, or open source applications were nowhere to be found in the Store. The situation did not change with the release of Windows 10.

The focus on UWP applications and Microsoft's lackluster attempts at promoting the store caused it to be ignored by the majority of Windows users. Microsoft tried several strategies to make the store more attractive, for instance by making it easier for developers to port their programs to the Store.

Still, the store did not take off. Microsoft renamed it to Microsoft Store, and that is what is still included on Windows 10 up to this date, and what will be included on Windows 11.

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The release of Windows 11 brings major changes to the Microsoft Store. Probably the biggest of them all is that Win32 applications are allowed to be uploaded and offered via the Store. Microsoft announced the "more open" Microsoft Store today on the Windows Developer blog, and it reads almost like an apology in some parts.

Developers told us they love not having to re-write their existing desktop apps or change their business models in order to be part of the Microsoft Store on Windows.

Microsoft Store General Manager Giorgio Sardo highlights new apps that are already available, including Acrobat Reader DC, LibreOffice, Discord, Vlc, TeamViewer and others. In addition, Progressive Web Apps are also being added to the Store, with apps from Reddit, Wikipedia and TikTok available already.

The first two browsers are available as well. Opera and Yandex Browser can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store.

Another big change is that Microsoft changed its store policies to allow "third-party storefront apps to be discoverable" in the Microsoft Store. Amazon and Epic Games will bring their Stores to the Microsoft Store. Amazon's App Store will provide Windows users with access to Android applications, which Windows 11 will be able to run eventually, and Epic Games brings its gaming platform to the Microsoft Store.

The new Microsoft Store comes to Windows 10 at a later date as well.

The new Microsoft Store will launch to the public alongside Windows 11 on October 5th. It will also be available to Windows 10 customers in the coming months.

Is the new strategy a game changer?

Microsoft's strategic change could give its store a much needed boost. Windows users find popular apps and games on the Store once the changes land, something that has not been the case since the initial release of the store. The new apps, games and options improve the attractiveness of the Microsoft Store, but is it enough to gain a positive momentum and keep it?

The Microsoft Store is a central location for users of the operating system to download and install programs. Microsoft added other types of digital offerings to its store to make it more attractive and increase its revenue.

Is it enough to allow Win32 programs and third-party storefronts to make it a success? Why would users use the Microsoft Store to download these programs, when these are also available from the developer directly? Discoverability may be one answer, especially for users who don't know the ins and outs of the Internet.

The changes will make the Microsoft Store more attractive, there is little doubt about that. Time will tell if this is going to be the game changer that Microsoft is hoping it will be.

Now You: will you use the new Microsoft Store?

Summary
Microsoft's latest attempt at making Microsoft Store more attractive could work
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Microsoft's latest attempt at making Microsoft Store more attractive could work
Description
The new Microsoft Store supports Win32 desktop programs as well as third-party storefronts such as the Amazon App Store. Is it enough to make it a success, this time?
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Trey said on September 28, 2021 at 9:21 pm
    Reply

    Never going to sign my OS into Microsoft, so no.

    Also – “Opera and Yandex Browser can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store”. Weird it’s just those two. I guess they received big checks from China and Russia.

    1. Anonymous said on September 28, 2021 at 11:34 pm
      Reply

      Use Winget for all your installs. No need for MS Store.

      1. Anonymous said on September 28, 2021 at 11:54 pm
        Reply

        … or use https://alternativeto.net/ to find installable programs.

      2. Leopeva64 said on September 29, 2021 at 3:23 am
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        Speaking of Windows 11, Google will soon change Chrome’s context menus to match the “Windows 11 style”:

        https://www.reddit.com/r/chrome/comments/pxe2ld/chromes_context_menus_will_be_modified_to_match/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

        .

      3. Leopeva64 said on September 29, 2021 at 6:30 am
        Reply

        Oops, sorry, I posted my comment as a response to another user and that was not my intention.

  2. SteveS said on September 29, 2021 at 12:22 am
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    I won’t willingly sign-in to an MS Account just to go to their Store. I don’t use “apps” anyway – only full ‘best of class’ applications as curated by myself for my own needs, not by some ‘nanny’ like MS wants to be.

    Besides, look closely at the picture above showing LibreOffice available on the Store. It is almost an advertisement for NOT using the Store: the description reads “LibreOffice is a powerful and free office suite…” yet the price to get it from the Store is $9.99?? How about a little cognitive dissonance, lol!

  3. Anonymous said on September 29, 2021 at 12:58 am
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    Maybe someone’s grandma would mistakenly use this. “It’s just like the Google and Apple stores. Ooooh noooo, I’ve been ransomwared!”

  4. Anonymous said on September 29, 2021 at 4:57 am
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    They failed badly to make windows store relevant. If they eventually make their crappy store relevant by faking the “good guy” then they will show their true colors. Typical M$ behaviour when they fail in a market. How about ..opening xbox game purchases and stop charging game developers 30% there?

  5. Kris said on September 29, 2021 at 10:00 am
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    Same for Paint.net: free on their website, paid on MS store. Same for Powertoys.

  6. Anonymous said on September 29, 2021 at 11:40 am
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    I don’t understand why ethically stainless projects like LibreOffice and VLC help Microsoft monopolize software distribution by joining their store, at a time when it would still be easy to fight together to kill it. Lack of vision, lack of organization, lack of the required level of hate against big tech for everything evil it did already. Sad.

    1. RobG said on September 29, 2021 at 2:36 pm
      Reply

      Anonymous said: “Lack of vision, lack of the required level of hate against big tech for everything evil it did already”.

      Reading your posts its obvious that you have more than enough ‘level of hate against big tech’ to go round.;-)

      Seriously though. Dont you ever get tired of posting the same old ‘Linux good – Microsoft evil” mantra all the time? …and on this Windows forum too! Isnt there a Linux forum somewhere you could vent your spleen?

      Just think for a bit. Where would the world be without ‘big tech’ companies like Apple and Microsoft? How would companies large and small manage without Office, Excel with macros, Outlook, Adobe PDF etc., not to mention Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Sony Vegas video and audio editors used widely in the film and record industry? And please don’t say that freebies such as Linux and LibreOffice and Gimp etc would fill the gap.

      By all means enjoy using Linux and LibreOffice etc yourself, as it obviously suits your needs.
      But lets keep it real and remember that old tech saying; “If you pay peanuts you get monkeys”..

      1. ChromeFan said on September 29, 2021 at 5:23 pm
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        Somebody else would take their place.

        You think Windows is used in the film industry? HAHA. The reality is that Linux dominates where it matters. You Windows fans are very deluded.

      2. RobG said on September 29, 2021 at 6:03 pm
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        ChromeFan said: “Somebody else would take their place”.

        Oh right. So hundreds of millions of business computers worldwide will magically switch to ‘something else’. Come on!

        ChromeFan said: “You think Windows is used in the film industry? HAHA”

        I know for a fact that Windows is used in the film industry, and also in the music industry (think Sony Vegas Pro video editor, and Ableton Live audio producer).
        But its well known that Apple Macs are the predominant choice of OS in these areas, at least at the very top level of film, TV and music production, and that’s why I mentioned ‘Apple’ and ‘Adobe Premiere Pro’ in my previous comment (Premier Pro also runs on Windows as well of course).

      3. ChromeFan said on September 29, 2021 at 8:25 pm
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        @RobG

        > “So hundreds of millions of business computers worldwide will magically switch to ‘something else’”

        No, instead of ‘Apple’, and ‘Microsoft’, somebody else would take their place and their products, at that time.

        > “I know for a fact that Windows is used in the film industry”

        You are telling me that Hollywood uses Windows, and not Linux?

      4. RobG said on September 29, 2021 at 10:12 pm
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        ChromeFan said: “No, instead of ‘Apple’ and ‘Microsoft’, somebody else would take their place and their products, at that time”.

        I still don’t get it. So your claiming that some currently nameless companies are going to come along and fill the gap that Apple and Microsoft currently hold, i.e. supplying 95% of the world’s current operating systems; and in addition some ‘other’ companies are going to start producing equivalent and compatible software to replace the likes of AutoCad, Adobe PDF, MS Office, Photoshop – plus all the other dedicated Windows and Apple compatible software currently used in business and industry, and the medical profession, and robotic software currently used in car manufacturing and factories throughout the world. In that case, I’ll have whatever your smoking! ;-)

        ChromeFan said: “You are telling me that Hollywood uses Windows, and not Linux?”

        I never said anything about Hollywood. I used the generic term “film industry” and that covers a wide range – from amateur short films to Indie films, to major worldwide releases.

        Windows and Apple compatible editing software – such as Avid and Adobe – are indeed widely used in film production. Linux is used too, mainly for rendering via servers.

        “Hollywood Relies on Avid to Create the Summer’s Biggest Blockbusters”
        https://www.avid.com/press-room-archive/2017/08/Summer-Blockbusters

        https://www.avid.com/media-composer#Video-Editing

  7. Vandrey Trindade said on September 29, 2021 at 1:20 pm
    Reply

    Yes, I will use Microsoft Store.
    I’m using Windows Store since the beginning.
    I really hope that Microsoft will clean that store that is full of useless crap.

  8. ChromeFan said on September 29, 2021 at 1:39 pm
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    They finally hired someone who can code? I imagine they were using C# (lol). The Store was a pathetic atttempt to make a Store, but failed miserably. Get the basics right, and then improve on that.

    This would have never happened under Bill Gate’s leadership.

  9. Dave said on September 29, 2021 at 3:18 pm
    Reply

    @Martin

    If I installed VLC through the Microsoft store, would it get updated through the store along with the native windows apps that get updated this way?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 29, 2021 at 5:50 pm
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      That is a good question. The Store versions, meaning UWP, do get updated. It is still unclear if Win32 programs will also receive updates through the Store.

      1. Chadi Affan said on September 30, 2021 at 12:58 am
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        I would say YES becase XBox game pass games update through Microsoft Store without problems. The only issue is the devs put the updated versions onto Mircrosoft Store as they release the updates or is there restrictions with Microsoft Store that might stagger repeated updates or delay them

  10. Sebas said on September 29, 2021 at 3:49 pm
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    Why not? Yes there is a lot of rubbish but with this new direction I certainly will go to try it out.

  11. Jake said on September 29, 2021 at 4:11 pm
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    Few things:

    1. They are only doing this because nobody wanted to use their digital store before.

    2. Any publisher that can afford to, is launching, and in most cases, has already launched their own.

    3. Everyone knows that, in the event the Microsoft store does become successful, they will start tightening the screws on developers and consumers again, Windows RT style.

  12. Matt said on September 29, 2021 at 4:39 pm
    Reply

    When I need to download or update a program I go to the author or company’s web site and download it. I don’t need some man in the middle piece of trash store getting in the way.

  13. DunBanner said on September 30, 2021 at 7:13 am
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    Are the new versions for Paint and Store coming to Windows 10?

    Given the pretty rubbish changes to taskbar etc., I’ve got no interest in moving to Windows 11 at the moment.

  14. ilev said on September 30, 2021 at 7:51 am
    Reply

    Microsoft’s latest attempt at making Microsoft Store more attractive won’t work.
    What will work is that every hacker, virus developer, ransomware developer.. will flock to the new
    Microsoft store where you can publish anything (just like on Google Play).

  15. Anonymous said on September 30, 2021 at 7:12 pm
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    The fact the 2 browsers setup by default are from Russia & China for the purpose of tracking is all the more evidence Microsoft even in its own privacy settings time consuming effort required to remove tracking that they are NO LONGER to be trusted. If they ever were.

    1. RobG said on October 1, 2021 at 12:05 pm
      Reply

      Anonymous said: “The fact the 2 browsers setup by default are from Russia & China for the purpose of tracking is all the more evidence Microsoft..are NO LONGER to be trusted”.

      “Being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant – it tends to get worse”.
      – Molly Ivins

      ;-)

  16. me said on October 4, 2021 at 4:48 am
    Reply

    —>> “Being slightly paranoid…”

    It IS worse. The Kuketz-It-security blog did a privacy check-up on Edge with default settings – not pretty; https://www.kuketz-blog.de/microsoft-edge-datensendeverhalten-desktop-version-browser-check-teil4/ (in German) Edge is good for exactly one thing: browsing the store.

    Why not use it, so long as it’s not mandatory? Yeah I know, hello and bye Windows 11, nice not having to know you.

  17. KERR said on October 5, 2021 at 4:34 am
    Reply

    And yet I still can’t tell if there’s updates available in the store or if my apps have been updated. Horrible, dumb UI.

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