Microsoft announced in June that developers would soon be able to update software distributed by the new Windows 11 Microsoft Store via in-app updates instead of relying on the platform's update process. This was presented as an option afforded by the new store, but Windows Latest today reported that for some apps, it's really a necessity.
"Updates to Apps are not required to be submitted through the Store," Microsoft said in the official documentation (opens in new tab) for the updated platform. "End users will not be able to receive updates from the Store. Apps can be updated directly by You via your App that is installed on a Windows Device after download from the Store."
The company said direct updates to apps originally downloaded from the Microsoft Store would still be "subject to all of the requirements of this agreement, including the Microsoft Store Policies" on its website (opens in new tab), however. So it seems like Win32 app developers will have a strange mix of responsibilities and restrictions for updates.
Windows users will also have to figure out if a given app will be updated via the Microsoft Store or if it will rely on a separate installation tool. Microsoft Store Principal Architect Rudy Hyun told a Twitter user that Microsoft tries to make it clear which update mechanism will be used for a given app right in its Store listing:
You can decide to install or not an application based on who updates it. We tried to be very transparent, there is a text below the app name: pic.twitter.com/nRln1F9quEJuly 22, 2021
Microsoft wanted to offer developers more freedom by supporting a variety of frameworks, payment solutions, and update mechanisms, but in doing so, it also made the Microsoft Store more complicated than something like the App Store. Microsoft's solution is less restrictive; Apple's is easier for most people to grok.
There's still time for Microsoft to clarify some of the more byzantine aspects of the new Microsoft Store, however, which is expected to debut alongside Windows 11 sometime between this October and early 2022 depending on how you're counting. Microsoft said the updated store will also make its way to Windows 10.