Finding software via the Microsoft Store app for Windows 10 might be less painful soon. Windows Central today reported that Microsoft is redesigning the app to offer a better experience for developers and consumers alike with a variety of changes.
Microsoft started distributing software via the Windows Store for Windows 10 in 2015. Then in 2017, it rebranded the platform to the Microsoft Store, and that version of the storefront hasn't changed much in the four years since its introduction.
But that could be about to change. Windows Central said that Microsoft plans to change the Microsoft Store's user interface to better appeal to Windows 10 users while simultaneously introducing new policies to be more developer-friendly.
Both aspects of that redesign will prove vital. Windows 10 users have little incentive to find apps on the Microsoft Store because it isn't comprehensive and, in many cases, it isn't much more convenient than simply downloading an ".exe" directly.
This contributes to a vicious cycle where consumers aren't driven to the Microsoft Store because it doesn't have all the apps they want, and as long as they're willing to find programs elsewhere, developers aren't going to flock to the storefront.
Windows Central reported that Microsoft plans to incentivize software distribution via the Microsoft Store with three policy changes that would:
- Allow developers to submit unpackaged Win32 apps to the Store
- Allow developers to host apps and updates on their own content delivery network (CDN)
- Alllow developers to use third-party commerce platforms in apps
The storefront is also expected to be "reinvigorated with new layouts, WinUI designs, iconography, and fluid animations" as part of the Sun Valley update to Windows 10 that's expected to make sweeping changes to the operating system later this year.
Microsoft will always struggle to make the Microsoft Store as popular on Windows 10 as, say, the App Store is on iOS by the platform's very nature. It's easy to make a distribution channel popular when it's literally the only way to install apps on a platform; it's much harder to do the same for an optional distribution channel.
At least there's hope for people who don't want to go search the web every time they want to install a particular app. Being an optional part of the Windows 10 experience doesn't make the Microsoft Store's ease of use or developer policies less important.