Epic Games Store, Discord, and Zoom Join Windows 11’s Most Flexible App Store

Microsoft Store on Windows 11.
Enlarge / Microsoft Store on Windows 11.

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When Microsoft introduced Windows 11 over the summer, also detailed a major change in strategy for your app store. In an effort to attract more developers and their apps after years of indifference, Microsoft said it would allow all kinds of apps developed and packaged with all sorts of tools on the Microsoft Store, including everything from traditional Win32 apps to Electron apps and progressive web applications. (PWA).

Now we are seeing some of the fruits of that change: Microsoft has Announced that major third-party apps like Zoom, Discord, Adobe Reader, VLC media player, and even the LibreOffice suite are now available on the Microsoft Store for people using Windows 11 Insider Preview builds. Web applications such as Wikipedia, Reddit, and Tumblr are also available. These PWAs look and function just like normal websites, but they can be easily pinned to Start or the taskbar and can display notification badges and some other benefits that make them feel a bit more like desktop apps.

Microsoft also says it will allow other app stores to enter the Microsoft Store, starting with Amazon and the Epic Games Store. These will be available “during the next few months”. (When support for Amazon’s Android apps is added to Windows 11 sometime after the official release, those apps will still be searchable from the Microsoft Store itself.) If you don’t want to (or can’t) install Windows 11 on your PC, Microsoft says the new Microsoft Store and new apps will also be coming to Windows 10 “in the coming months.” Windows 11 release officially begins 5th of October.

The Windows Store was more inspired by Apple’s app stores when it originally launched in the days of Windows Phone and Windows 8, but it’s never been a particularly relevant or convenient way to access most of your everyday Windows apps. If that changes in Windows 11, it will be to Microsoft’s benefit, even if the company isn’t making money directly from many of the apps. If the Microsoft Store becomes a convenient destination for users, it will be more important for developers to publish their applications on it, which will make it more convenient for users, etc.

Microsoft also announced in June that developers using their own payment platforms (or third-party payment services from companies other than Microsoft) will be able to keep all the revenue they earn, rather than the typical 85/15 revenue split for the applications. This change notably makes no they apply to games, which have a revenue split lower than 88/12, but have to pay Microsoft their share regardless of how they handle payments. the Apple v. Epic games The case revealed that games account for 70 percent of Apple’s App Store revenue, suggesting that Microsoft won’t leave a ton of money on the table even with these changes.

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