The Microsoft Store is officially open to all Win32 apps
Today is the first day of Microsoft’s Build 2022 developer conference, and one thing that the company actually teased ahead of the event is improvements for the Microsoft Store. The Redmond firm delivered. There’s actually a whole lot that’s new in the Windows 11 Store.
The waitlist for Win32 apps is going away
With the new store, Microsoft made it so that anyone with any app that runs on Windows could just throw it up in the store. That made it even easier than the old days of having to package a Win32 app. Now, there’s no more waitlist to do it. Just submit your app, and you should be good to go.
Ads are coming
Being a developer show, it’s all about how the Microsoft Store can be better for developers, not necessarily end users. Devs will be able to show ads for their app in the Microsoft Store using Microsoft Advertising. In order to do this, you’ll need to be a registered developer with a published app.
While not specifically an advertisement, you’re about to start seeing Microsoft Store listings in Windows Search. Microsoft’s point is that people are searching for apps when they use Windows Search anyway, so it might be useful to show them apps that are in the Microsoft Store.
Finally, there’s a new pop-up store feature. This is about letting developers advertise their app on a website, so you’ll be able to install the app directly from there.
Restoring apps on a new PC
Without a doubt, you’ve seen this feature on iOS and Android. You go to set up a new phone, and you can restore from a backup where all of your apps just automatically download and install. Microsoft is about to do the same thing.
There’s just one catch on Windows, which is that it’s only going to restore the apps that come from the Microsoft Store. After all, the company doesn’t have power over apps obtained from a web browser. For apps like Google Chrome, you’ll have to go and acquire that yourself.
It should shorten the setup experience though, at least for the apps that do come from the Microsoft Store, and that’s a good thing. We’ll just have to hope that more apps start to show up.
And indeed, more apps are showing up. Microsoft talked about apps like Audacity, Canva, Epic Games, Firefox, OpenOffice, WinZip, Zoom, and more showing up in the store. With today’s announcements, there are a lot of improvements for visibility, and also, it’s easier than ever to put an app in the Microsoft Store, whether it’s a Win32 app or a PWA.