A brand-new experience

Microsoft Store app for Windows 10 is getting massive overhaul

Microsoft is reportedly working on a new app Store for Windows 10 that will be more open to users and developers.

Microsoft Store app
  • Windows 10 will get a new Microsoft Store app by the fall of 2021.
  • The new app will provide a new modern design and improve discoverability.
  • The new system will make it easier for developers to submit and monetize apps.

Microsoft is reportedly building a new app Store for Windows 10 with a more user-friendly interface, modern design, and significant policy changes to be more open for end-users and developers. According to a new report from Windows Central, the company plans to roll out the new Microsoft Store app alongside version 21H2 (Sun Valley) toward the end of the year. However, the plan is also to bring it to older versions of the operating system.

The problem

The overhaul is happening because, since the original release, the app has not gained much popularity among users and developers. Currently, the Microsoft Store has many issues, including a design that’s hard to navigate, apps are difficult to find, it’s slow, and the overall experience is not good.

Also, it does not provide a good experience for developers since the Store only accepts traditional desktop apps (Win32) in MSIX packages (a modern format to deliver Windows apps) that forces the company’s own update mechanism and imposes only one system for monetization.

The solution

The new experience will change all these shortcomings. For starters, the new version of the Microsoft Store app will reportedly continue to be a Universal Windows Platform (UWP). And like any other app, it will receive monthly updates to improve over time.

The app is rumored to include a new modern interface design, layouts, animations, and iconography, improving navigation, discoverability of apps, and user experience.

Microsoft will also try to provide a better experience to download and install large games and applications.

Changes for developers

Specific for developers, Microsoft plans to improve its overall policies. For example, in the new app store, developers will be able to submit unpacked Win32 apps. This means that developers would be able to upload existing .EXE or .MSI without any additional changes to their code.

They will also be able to host their apps and push using their own content delivery network (CDN) without being governed by the Microsoft update mechanism. So, they can update independently from the Store like the Microsoft Edge app.

And the company will allow developers to use third-party monetization platforms, which means that those who choose a third-party commerce platform will not have to share a cut with Microsoft. Currently, paid apps or apps with an option for in-app purchase have to share part of the profit with the company, which means that this change will be significant and a first in this market.

With this new approach, it would open up the Store to more apps that otherwise you would never see on the platform, such as Adobe products and Mozilla Firefox. Microsoft is even planning to bring many of its other products, including Teams, Office, Visual Studio, and even Microsoft Edge.

It would appear that with all these new changes, the software giant now only wants to make the Microsoft Store a simple and trusted app repository to discover and download apps. Rather than a platform, focus on making money.

The new app is expected to arrive with Windows 10 21H2, but the company also plans to bring the new experience to older versions of the operating system. According to the report, Microsoft is planning to officially unveil the new Store at the Build 2021 developer conference, and a preview will be available shortly after the announcement.