Microsoft Store is getting a much needed boost (and ads)
During Build 2022, Microsoft highlighted some of the improvements that it plans to roll out to the virtual Microsoft Store. The Store, which the company introduced in Windows 8 and refined in Windows 10, has seen ups and downs since its first release.
For the first five years of Windows 10's existence, it was not really something to brag about. Microsoft's focus on universal platform apps and the ignoring of traditional desktop programs had the result that many developers and users ignored it.
The opening up of the store for traditional Windows apps and the release of Windows 11 improved the availability of apps and programs on the store. The store is now home to popular apps, including Firefox, OpenOffice, Epic Games, or Discord. While it still lacks many apps, it is an improvement over previous years. Microsoft rolled out an update to the web interface as well.
Microsoft plans to use the momentum to further improve its virtual store. Besides opening the store to all Win32 developers, Microsoft announced the following improvements to its store:
- The ability to restore apps.
- Improved visibility in Windows Search.
- Microsoft Store Ads programs.
The ability to restore apps is probably the main new feature from a user perspective. While it has been possible to restore individual apps ever since the Store was released, it never has been possible until now to restore apps in bulk.
If you work on multiple devices or want to migrate from one device to another, you'd end up restoring individual apps. If you have installed dozens or even more, you'd spend a long time doing so.
The new restore apps feature of the Microsoft Store improves that. It enables users to restore all apps or select applications using the Store interface, on all of their devices. Third-party solutions, such as the Windows Package Manager, may also be used to install apps in bulk.
Apps in search
When users type the name of an app in Search, it may not be returned right now if it is not installed. Windows Search may list web results, if these have not been disabled, but there is no direct call to action available at the time.
The search integration highlights available applications when users type in the search field. There is a direct "get from Store" option for returned applications to improve the discoverability.
The feature lands in Windows Insider builds soon according to Microsoft.
Microsoft Store Ads
Microsoft Store Ads are available to developers who have published at least one application in the Microsoft Store. Developers may create ad campaigns to target specific users on the device. Microsoft explains that a developer of a music making app could advertise the app to Windows users who like music or make music. Ads are displayed in the Microsoft Store, e.g. when users search for applications.
Now You: do you use the Microsoft Store? What do you think about the announced features?Advertisement