Microsoft Store is getting a much needed boost (and ads)

Martin Brinkmann
May 28, 2022
Windows 11 News

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.

restore windows apps
source: Microsoft

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.

Restore apps

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

Windows Search Install
source: Microsoft

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

source: Microsoft

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?

Microsoft Store is getting a much needed boost (and ads)
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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.
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  1. John G. said on May 29, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    They are unable to put a single option to DELETE the cache of the former installed apps, they are always remain, whatever you clear, whatever you reinstall, so please, add an option to delete from cache of installed apps as soon as possible, more than six years waiting for such a simply thing!

  2. Dylan NewRoll said on May 29, 2022 at 3:03 am

    The problem with Windows Store is the way its cache and other registry entries, so you an install and uninstall an app 20 years later and it will show up in the registry, and that always sucks, that’s why I started using normal portable installable apps, easier to clean registry after installing them.

    Also the problem with Store is how you can’t remove apps when you get them, unlike in Google or Steam where you can do it and then at least you won’t have some ghost apps you might not install ever.

    Those are my two complaints, if it wasn’t for those two, I would use Store more, specially when Winget can easily manage them.

  3. Trey said on May 29, 2022 at 12:53 am

    Will never use the store out of principle. Resist getting cozy in Microsoft’s walled garden.

    1. Rick RollingEyes said on May 29, 2022 at 3:11 am

      @Trey yeah sure, you probably have a phone, and you probably upgrade it every year and of course you won’t use a store to get apps

      I mean, like bank apps, you don’t even use them? yeah sure, I am sure you will find those apps in a downloadable apk in the bank website /s

      Maybe people should start being honest and stop talking crap they aren’t really doing. You are using stores, only because you don’t use Microsoft one, it doesn’t mean you aren’t using 20 more stores.

      And Microsoft doesn’t have a ‘walled garden’ maybe you should find the definition of that, Microsoft hasn’t stopped anyone from installing through the store, many developers would opt to use the store because of automatic updates for example like guy or someone like who uses the store as a way of people to support the project.

      Funny how people like you talk crap, but many developers have even started to offer msix and stuff like that not even having to use the store to install Universal apps, also there is Winget to manage Store apps and Desktop apps.
      So maybe you are ignorant about the definition of ‘walled garden’ but I am sure nobody forced Blender guys to upload their app to windows store and they won’t stop offering the exe/msi or portable package in their website, like many other developers. It is actually more opened than what you would get in your many android phones, but I don’t expect non-ignorance on the internet.

      1. Michael said on May 29, 2022 at 1:53 pm

        Rick RollingEyes, so Trey should use M$ store too because? Because other stores exist and M$ is jealous of them? I am touched. 1 less store to use the better lmao.

      2. Trey said on May 29, 2022 at 10:50 am

        @Rick RollingEyes

        That’s a lot of angry words from a guy who sounds super happy defending those who took a free internet and funneled the livestock through their pay-gates. Keep up the good fight, you’re doing great.

  4. Herman Cost said on May 29, 2022 at 12:10 am

    I don’t want a store, I don’t need a store and I don’t intend to ever use the store. I just need a secure operating system with a good file manager and a straightforward interface without telemetry, tracking and/or ads which allows me to use the software I want to use without jumping through hoops. Hell, if I have to I’ll even live without stickers.

    Someday there may even be such a thing.

    1. Jeroen said on June 7, 2022 at 3:44 pm


    2. Hitomi said on May 29, 2022 at 10:13 am

      Sounds like the learning curve for Linux is still too high :)

    3. Anonymous said on May 29, 2022 at 6:13 am

      There is such a thing.

      Microsoft Windows 10 LTSC 2021 Enterprise IoT (10 years of support)

      1. TelV said on May 29, 2022 at 12:30 pm

        Except that you need to be an OEM in order to purchase a licence. It’s not available to consumers.

  5. BaZooka said on May 28, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    Aaaaand disabled/gone from my user account.

  6. Anonymous said on May 28, 2022 at 10:07 pm

    I don’t use the store and am not sufficiently educated to understand how store apps function, including why some of those in that come pre-loaded are not listed by any uninstall program and use so many folders. For example, ZuneMusic and ZuneVideo have 14 folder between them totalling in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps.
    More in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\DeletedAllUserPackages
    and more in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\AppRepository\Packages
    Neither exists as a findable program on the computer. No wonder Windows computers gradually grind to a halt over time!

    If there are so many leftovers when you uninstall (even using a 3rd party app that goes through the motions of ferreting out leftovers) I don’t want store apps.

  7. Anonymous said on May 28, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    Microsoft store is still useless as it was in Windows 8. I don’t use it or know anyone who uses it. Its always just pinned on the average user taskbar but they never opened it.

  8. ECJ said on May 28, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    The problem with the new Microsoft Store is they have removed the two main reasons why I want to use it in the first place:

    1) Developers are now able to use their own payment methods. However, I don’t want to give personal and payment details to a whole bunch of individual developers for every single piece of software I buy. I would rather just one entity having my personal and payment details.

    2) Developers are now able to use their own software updating mechanism. However, I don’t want a whole bunch of application updaters running in the background doing their own thing – I want all the software to automatically update through the Microsoft Store.

    By conceding these two things, the Microsoft Store in pretty pointless.

    1. Anonymous said on May 29, 2022 at 2:13 pm

      The reason I’m using the Google Play is because it’s easy to reinstall the apps after changing phone, I expect to do the same in my computer. However free softwares become paid softwares in Microsoft Store(example: What’s the point using it then?

    2. Leak said on May 28, 2022 at 6:22 pm

      Also, I very much miss the feature of being able to remove an app from “My library” – there’s apps in there I tried and didn’t like, and apps for devices I no longer use.

      There supposedly once was a menu entry to remove these apps from the list, but they’ve scrapped it in the last re-design – WTF?

      1. Anonymous said on May 28, 2022 at 11:49 pm

        They were never removed. Microsoft is making “accounts” of your device and uploads them to their servers without user consent. Not even Google has ever gone that low.
        That’s why even if you format your pc and open microsoft store the library finds what apps you had before the format. It was just a gimmick, that entry was just hiding them and they were shown again after a format. They removed it because more people have being finding out what Microsoft really does.

    3. Paul(us) said on May 28, 2022 at 6:11 pm

      Ferry valid points @ECJ.
      Because of those reasons, I am still trying to avoid the Microsoft store as much as possible.

  9. Hitomi said on May 28, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    > Now You: do you use the Microsoft Store? What do you think about the announced features?

    Yes for the free AV1 and HEVC codecs and my windows terminal. Finally the excessive telemetry makes sense, after all “they” want to know what software you use and how “they” can improve your “””experience”””.

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