Thinking about Microsoft's potential new app store on Windows 10

Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Last week, I wrote about some upcoming changes to the Store app on Windows 10 that Microsoft is yet to announce, that will allow app developers to bring more kinds of Win32 apps to the Store in an effort to revitalize the storefront for end-users. Windows is a desktop OS, and most users are using those desktop apps on a regular basis, so why shouldn't those apps be in the Store?

The changes that Microsoft will be putting into effect will allow developers to submit unpackaged Win32 apps into the Store, and Microsoft will allow those apps to use their own in-app commerce platforms and update systems, instead of Microsoft's own store framework. This is a big deal, as it allows commercial grade apps like Adobe's Creative Cloud, or popular apps like Firefox or Google Chrome to be added to the store with no additional work by the developers.

Okay, why?

Microsoft Store

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

But why is Microsoft doing this? These changes essentially go against the whole point of an App Store; being a place to find high-quality, trusted apps that have been vetted by Microsoft and updated by developers so that they can't cause bitrot. How is it beneficial to relax the policies that make that happen? Well, here's how:

Microsoft has the data, and they've found that most users who go into the app store are looking for a particular app, whether that be Office, Chrome, Zoom, you name it. For many big name apps on Windows, you won't find them in the store, because those developers haven't submitted their apps as the current policies don't allow them to run.

While developers of said apps could update their apps to make them store compliant, the reality of the situation is that most developers won't do that because users are more than happy to download their application from outside the store, maintaining said app developers built-in solutions for updates and in-app purchases. So it's actually beneficial for a lot of app developers to not submit their apps to the store.

Users are already happy to download unpackaged Win32 apps from the web.

Microsoft can see that users are heading to the Microsoft Store, searching for Chrome (for example) and not finding it, then closing the store app, opening their web browser, and downloading Chrome from there instead. The end-user isn't bothered about whether or not the app they're downloading has been correctly sandboxed or is going to use the Microsoft Store for automatic updates. They just want the app they went looking for.

Not finding the app in the store can lead to customer dissatisfaction. It looks bad on Microsoft's part, and Microsoft not allowing those apps in the store just makes it harder for customers to get the apps they want. Why should a user have to download Chrome from the web when it could very easily be found and installed via the built-in Windows app store? It should just be there.

What about the disadvantages?

Windows Store

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

There are certainly disadvantages, especially around security. There's no guarantee that an app developer that does choose to use its own updating or content delivery system won't abuse that power by pushing down unwanted content or even malware, but how often does that happen today with users downloading apps from the web?

Users who open the store usually have the app they want to download already in mind. I don't think I've ever opened the store and browsed by new to find something I've never heard of. I'm in the Store to get an app I know about or have used before, and therefore trust. Developers submitting apps to the store, packaged or not, will still have to be approved.

And even then, I'm sure Microsoft will have other ways of ensuring security even after the app has been approved, but that's Microsoft's story to tell. There's also the whole "preventing bitrot" idea that falls apart by relaxing store policies. Again, I don't think this matters as most users are happy to download their apps unpackaged from the web every day. So that benefit is irrelevant for most people.

Also, it's possible that Microsoft is working on a way to sandbox unpackaged Win32 apps on Windows 10 like it already planned to do on Windows 10X. That way, even if an app causes bitrot or is able to pull down malware, it'll only ever be the sandboxed environment that it affects. But, we'll have to see if something like that ever comes to Windows desktop.

The opposite of what UWP promised

Windows Store

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

I know there are people that really wanted Microsoft to push developers to build UWP apps as replacements to Win32 programs, but that's just never going to happen. UWP has its place as another app type on Windows, and it certainly makes sense for specific app scenarios, but it doesn't make sense as the only app platform. Win32 is sticking around, and it hurts developers and end-users to try force everyone away from it.

Project Reunion is supposed to help blur the lines between Win32 and UWP anyway, marrying the app platform ecosystem on Windows under one umbrella. We'll see if that takes off, but for now, Win32, UWP, PWA, and everything in-between are welcome app types on Windows, with no plans to remove any of them going forward. They all have a purpose, and they'll always be available to download in the app store on Windows.

For now, I think the advantages of relaxing store policies outweighs the disadvantages for most users. Being able to find the most popular Windows apps in the Store will be a big deal for Microsoft and Windows, and tells users that the platform is still alive. Imagine opening the storefront and seeing Chrome, Zoom, Photoshop, YouTube, Teams, Visual Studio, Office, and whatever else you can think of that you use every day. It'll make Windows feel relevant again, and that's what Sun Valley is all about.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on these upcoming changes? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • I really just don't care about usability at the expense of security. I'd be all for these changes if Microsoft did this but forced all unpackaged apps to run in a Sandbox (which they should be doing in 2021 regardless of whether it comes from the Store or the web). Everything should run sandboxed by default with options for Pro users to disable that setting because ostensibly they understand the risks and are saavy enough to avoid problems. The way I see it there should be three flavors of Windows:
    10X - UWP, PWA only
    10 (home) - UWP, PWA, sandboxed Win32
    10 Pro - everything goes
  • There, you actually had a better solution than Microsoft have. It can't be that hard for them to make the right choices. I'm baffled.
  • I'm not sure how games would go in a sandboxed environment (especially multiplayer titles with anti-cheat software to take into consideration). EDIT: Not to mention all the legacy games and software that won't see updates to iron out issues with being sandboxed.
  • And that's why they have Windows 10 Pro. Even in Windows Sandbox's current implementation there are no issues with legacy games because they can install whatever plug-ins and extensions they need within their own Sandbox, they just can't touch the system files or run in the background.
  • @PalZer0 You do realise anti-cheat mechanisms don't really work in reality. They only disadvantage the gamers they are supposed to safeguard. Sandboxed or not, there is no way to prevent direct code injunction when a game is running. That's how the cheat engine and most trainers work - they change the values in the RAM whilst the game is running. Legacy games and software run will run perfectly fine - as the sandboxed environment is effectively a containerised version of windows.
  • @Hanley Gibbons Users can set whether to download apps from the store, web or just store only - Apps & Features -> Choose Where To Install Apps From. This is available on 10 home and pro... Microsoft really needs to work on their marketing 🤦‍♂️.
  • Yeah, but that's not what I'm talking about. Letting people opt into only using the store is useless. Every app and program (even ones downloaded from websites) should work, but they should run inside sandboxes unless the user specifically enables them to run outside of the sandbox. That was the original plan for how 10X would handle Win32 programs, then they stripped out the Win32 compatibility layer completely in favor of exclusively running UWP and PWA apps or installing Win32 in a cloud PC.
  • "That was the original plan for how 10X would handle Win32 programs, then they stripped out the Win32 compatibility layer completely in favor of exclusively running UWP and PWA apps or installing Win32 in a cloud PC." This is not correct. They only postponed it, because it's not quite ready. The plan to have Win32 compatibility layer as part of Win10X is still on.
  • @Hanley Gibbons that's still in the cards, the O/S can force applications to run in a sandboxed environment. It's getting there, but it will take some time - rehiring the QA and programmatic testers would greatly speed that up but since Microsoft is reluctant to even do that.....
  • It makes no sense for Microsoft to maintain two separate versions of Windows. UWP based Windows 10X is where the future is, WIn32 is legacy. I like the idea of Windows 10X with native UWP and sandboxed Win32 with the eventual goal of porting every Win32 app to UWP.
  • UWP is dead, hence these changes. It is also legacy at this point.
  • How can UWP be dead when the next gen Windows 10X is built on it?
  • It was never alive to be dead. Enterprise doesn't care, and the consumer uses iOS/Android, and legacy on Windows when they have to.
  • Future UI stack is one or all of the below ones powered by .NET 6
    Blazor Desktop
  • There is really is no reason to have Windows without legacy. All my clients strip the Store out, as all they need Windows for is legacy. Consumers basically already moved on from Windows long ago. Businesses don't really care about UWP and consumers moved onto Android and iOS. One of many reasons why we all said the Store would fail, there are other reasons as well. Local devices Android and iOS, in the event someone needs Windows for legacy.... use Android/iOS or dummy client to access Windows VD. The goal is to eliminate Windows devices, and only use Windows VDs when a user absolutely needs legacy support.
  • If consumers moved on from Windows to iOS than why are most laptops/PCs sold still about 90% Windows? Makes no sense. Also, nobody said that Windows 10X won't support legacy. Of course it will, that's why they are working on Win32 compatibility layer.
  • Basically, holding steady for about 15 years... no growth.... phones and tablets have taken over the consumer market. From basically zero to 2-3 billion devices in 10-15 years. Windows is only here for legacy. The only thing Windows is needed for is legacy, enterprise is going to VDs and have been for 10 years. My clients moved on from windows 5-10 years ago, meaning running locally. There just isn't much need for them locally.... VDs for running legacy.
  • Why are most PCs still 90% Windows? Because people think they need a computer that can run software packages which they never run. For all practicaly purposes the only thing they run on their Windows PC is GOOGLE Chrome. 'com on. Be honest, how many of you use Chrome 90% to 95% on your PC? I now use Chrome 98%+ of the time on the PC. I only fire up legacy software like Microsoft Word or Excel when I need a legacy document that I'm used to accessing locally as opposed to through Google Sheets or Google Docs. Or, on a very rare occasion when I have a legacy PowerPoint with animations that doesn't translate well to Google Slides. The most common non-Chrome apps that I use on Windows are Keepass, NotePad++ and... umm, umm, umm. Oh, right Excel for ONE spreadsheet I update locally. Word to open legacy documents from my local Dropbox. Windows is the operating system that comes with cheap computers. THAT is why 90% of PCs still sold come with Windows.
  • "Why are most PCs still 90% Windows?" Legacy, the one and only reason Windows still exists. Consumer use Android/iOS... business half moved to Android/iOS but still need legacy for win32.
  • "Why are most PCs still 90% Windows?" Legacy, the one and only reason Windows still exists. Consumer use Android/iOS... business half moved to Android/iOS but still need legacy for win32. All MS doing with these "apps" uwp is not a concern or interest to the world, neither is the failed store.
  • Sure, it is nice to have the apps in the Store, but it doesn't mean people will go there to download it. They might as well keep their set ways and just download their apps from the web directly. How often do you need to download Chrome? Or Zoom? Or Office? Once.
    Unless Microsoft will come with some value proposition to use the Store, this is another dead-end. Sure, MS has to try something, but what we know now isn't it IMHO.
  • But in doing this, in clumsily catering to those who don't care about their ecosystem and don't understand the value in their view, what they're doing is basically making it more flawed for those who do. Everybody loses. Microsoft should learn from their competition and stop doing theses things.
  • I think you're discounting first-time and upgrade buyers of PC equipment. I've been building, programming, and buying computers since the early 80's, and the first thing I do now with a new setup is go to the store and install the apps I've been using. Each time I do this, I also search for desktop programs to see if they've been added to the store. I'd much rather install from there when I can. I only go to the company website *after* I've determined I can't get the same thing in the store. Takes only a few minutes, and I'd bet there are more people like me out there than you think. I'm also betting MS has already done this research and found this to be true, or they probably wouldn't have pulled the trigger on this. I have no doubt their plan is to get everyone to go to the store first, and once this has become the default setting, they'll start enforcing the security and update aspects currently in use.
  • Weekscl, 100% agree with you. Given the data Zac provided in the article, this would be the best way to make the Store a destination for users. After a few years of that becoming the standard, then and only then can MS influence developers to meet Store standards.
  • "I have no doubt their plan is to get everyone to go to the store first" You mean like Games for Windows Live and Windows Store (yes it was called that). LOL I want a unicorn, btw.
  • "The first thing I do now ... is go to the store and install the apps I've been using" Really? You and five other people. There are NO apps in the store that I can install! I'm guessing the only thing you really do with your computer nowadays is play games. When I search for apps all I ever get are listings for games. Out of curiosity, I just tried searching for the apps that constitute 99.8% of my usage on Windows, EVER, in order of frequency. ONLY Microsoft Office is available in the app store but I know that my install was installed into Windows 10 using the Win32 installer downloaded via Chrome and that it's updated outside of the Windows Store framework! My #1 app Chrome is not available in the Windows Store. Edge is Chrome's installer! Same applies to Brave and Opera. NotePad++ is somebody's pet project and has nothing to do with the NotePad++ project. Excel and the rest of Office were installed and are updated NOT using the Windows Store. TeamViewer? It's only a viewer. The real version is only available... through a web browser. Visual Studio is installed... ONLY using a web browser and updated outside of the Windows Store. GIMP is some questionable re-package of the official software without a version number. VLC in the Store is crippled and is a version from 2016! (yes, it's FIVE years old). And, my genealogy packages (Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic) are both legacy Win32 apps that'll never ever ever be updated to UWP even though they're actively maintained. If Win32 is ever deprecated support for Family Tree Maker will end and its users will be forced to shift to the web and RootsMagic would likely have to fold.
  • So in a nutshell, this is Microsoft YET AGAIN caving in to external demands that go against their vision, and even the things they do well. I can't see this as a win, no. As every time they have backed down to favor their detractors instead of their happy customers, this will turn against them and their haters won't actually care. This is not going to make REgular Joe go into the store and download Chrome.
  • "caving in to external demands" But Microsoft office, teams, visual studio, edge beta/dev/canary, etc. are all from WITHIN Microsoft and are not in the store. These changes help Microsoft's own first party software too. Just because it's normal to scrape the web now to find certain applications for windows doesn't mean it has to be this way in the future. "This is not going to make regular Joe go into the store and download Chrome." With Windows running on three architectures: ARM, 32-bit x86, and 64-bit x86, do you expect the regular Joe to click the correct download link for websites when they ask what architecture you're running windows on? How many people know the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit let alone ARM vs. x86. The store would automatically pull the right install for your version of Windows and make things a lot easier for everyone.
  • Their vision has failed. They have to pivot to keep going.
  • What vision? It has none (worth acknowledging). Microsoft has only itself to blame. They excluded Chrome and Firefox from the Windows Store in 2012. By doing so they trained a whole new generation of users on how to install software from third party sources. And, now that they'd like to get people to only use the rebranded Microsoft Store they're finding that people are quite happy installing their software from the web BECAUSE MICROSOFT TRAINED THEM TO DO IT THIS WAY. The only way Microsoft is going to make the Windows (Microsoft. Whatever!) Store a success is if they stop looking at the meaningless nonsense and insead focus on the substance. The number one question for whether the Store is relevant is "does it have GOOGLE Chrome?" Since the answer is a resounding "No" it's pointless to write these kinds of articles because that's all people care about. If Microsoft were to ALLOW Google to bring Chrome to the Windows <ehem Microsoft> Store it would be an overnight success. But, Microsoft does not ALLOW Google to bring Chrome to the Store so Microsoft really doesn't want the Store to be a success. Let's go down that path... if Microsoft were to ALLOW Google to bring Chrome to the Store then they could actually become serious about locking Windows down to prevent apps that weren't installed via the Store from running. But, because they were always more concerned about Internet Explorer/Edge market share than the success of Windows they never ALLOWED Google or Mozilla to bring their browsers to the Store. PS At one point in 2012 there was a version of FireFox available through the Store but Microsoft quickly killed that project by prohibiting competing browsers from the Store (ok, they weren't prohibited per se but Microsoft decided to only allow browsers that used Microsoft's rendering engine). I personally manage my father's computer in a city many hours drive away. I would love to be able to enforce an only Store apps policy (we've had two run-ins with con artists), but, because I need a remote control app (TeamViewer) and my father needs Chrome for account integration I cannot enforce a strict Windows Store-only policy. The Store does not allow apps that would be able to run in the background so you could connect (which excludes TeamViewer) and the Store also prohibits third party browsers unless they agree to only play by Microsoft's rules.
  • I don't really see the point in the store apart from maybe making installing and uninstalling software easier, but if they are going to change that then the store will be even more useless.
  • Exactly. There are a lot of advantages in using the store, I use it every chance I get. You install programs, they are completely safe, they update by themselves with no extra resources for each program, and they uninstall cleanly.
    Downloading an .exe file has no advantages whatsoever in 2021. We shouldn't be going backwards.
  • You are getting me wrong, I think the store is a total and complete waste of time for the majority of people and maybe only good for the few people that have no idea how to download and install software from other sources. If you take away the safety issue from the store, then it is even more useless.
    I have only used the store a few times and that was only when I first started to use Windows 10, these days the store is disabled on my machine, I have no use for it whatsoever. About time, we stopped having computer operating systems that resembles a mobile phone OS and that is the way Windows 10 have been from the start.
  • @ad47uk You do know that almost most of the Win32 applications have no business in adding any files to system directories and modifying the registry. - they can run perfectly well in a sandboxed container.
  • No doubt they can, but that is not going to happen even if they come from the store.
  • @ad47uk You're forgetting that Applications can run be forced to run in a sandbox by the OS lol.
  • "I use it every chance I get." I couldn't use the Store even if I wanted to. And, in the ONE case where I could, Office, MICROSOFT's own software uses its own update mechanism and I have to install it from Microsoft's own website anyway and not from the Store! 99% of my usage on Windows is Google Chrome, NotePad++ (distant second), Excel/PowerPoint/Word (close third), Keepass, Visual Studio, VLC Player, GIMP and TeamViewer. Of those apps two are Microsoft, neither uses the Store's update mechanism and the one isn't even available through the Store at all. The rest of the apps are NOT available in the Store, or if they are they are really, really, really old AND crippled (VLC was last updated 2016 and can't play DVDs), crippled and useless (TeamViewer viewer), or of questionable and non-official origin (NotePad++ & GIMP). So, the Store in its current incarnation is wholly useless to me, even if I wanted to use it. I do actually WANT to use the Store. As someone with more than a bit of understanding of software development I see the benefits of having ONE update mechanism and of having tight control over software to avoid viusses and malware. But, Microsoft uses the Store to (a) earn money off developers, and (b) privilege and promote its own applications. These two things cripple the Store. Apple is able to do the same things as what Microsoft wants to do with iOS. It is successful because its own software isn't bad and because that's the only way to play in Apple's iOS sandbox. Microsoft HAD to allow people to play in the Windows sandbox because it had such a wealth of legacy applications that couldn't be installed via that Store (mostly excluded by policy). If Microsoft had cut off these legacy apps that would've been the end of Windows. In the last 6 or 7 years Windows has really just been a way to run Chrome. If people couldn't run Chrome anymore because it was excluded from the Windows Store that would've been a great incentive for people to buy ChromeBooks.
  • Is there any news on how this connects to winget (I think that was the repository command)
  • I think this is fine. I think there's really no going back on .exe's for the legacy Windows desktop, which is what Windows 10 is under the hood. The much maligned .exe's are still the 'real' programs to get heavyweight work done. Yes it's imperfect, prone to security breaches etc., but it's worked for decades. There's really just no incentive to invest the time and effort to package these programs into the more sandboxed format of modern apps. Leave that to modern apps just getting built.
    Legacy apps get the job done as is. If it's not available in the store, people go elsewhere to download them. No difference, could as well put them in the store then. I agree with Zac on this. Users were installing this with or without the store. I know for sure I can't do without .exe's on my PCs. Even with all the 'risk' of .exe's, I would not bother using a desktop without them. It's too late now. Sometimes, I think people underestimate the scope of these legacy programs.
    The hybrid model is what I see going forward. A mix of .exe's and native UWP's in the store. It's not perfect, but sometimes that is still good enough.
  • "Why should a user have to download Chrome?" You should have finished the sentence right there.
  • The organisation I work for.... force users to chrome as a default browser but they are heavily invested in office 365... if I earned a penny for every time I got bad gateway error when navigating sharepoint I'd be a billionare. Edge and internet explorer have no issues... as anyone would expect.
  • It’ll just be an aggregator of apps, not a proper store. They won’t maintain MSIX requirement because no one wants to use it. Not even them, although they have said in the AMA that they plan to. Let’s see...
  • I'm strongly opposed to these changes. I'm fine with them letting apps like Chrome and Firefox into the Store. I'm also fine with them letting apps use their own in-app purchasing system. I'm against them letting apps into the store that are unpackaged because bitrot (a.k.a. winrot) will continue to be a problem that will never be solved. Plus the store does a great job at handling app updates. It works with the Delivery Optimization system built into Windows 10 and I've noticed it does speed up my downloads.
  • Just replace the Apps/Programs menu with the store. Even if you install an EXE from the web, automatically open the store and install it through that GUI. No reason to have two separate systems.
  • MS should just give up on The Store. No one cares about it - users OR developers - and UWP is already history. The software that I use everyday was installed from elsewhere.
  • Yup. Nobody cares but this site and a few hundred people. Eventually, these people won't be able to download their paid software from the Microsoft Store like Games for Windows Store users. They'll cry.... rinse and repeat the next consumer product.
  • Yup. Nobody cares but this site and a few hundred people. Eventually, these people won't be able to download their paid software from the Microsoft Store like Games for Microsoft Store users. They'll cry.... rinse and repeat the next consumer product. The rename was the tell from the Windows Store to Microsoft Store.
  • "The rename was the tell". So true. Renaming the Store was a symptom of the problem. The name was never the problem. It was the Store's policy. By excluding Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox and other competitors in other fields of software from the Store by policy they sabotaged the Store itself, and Windows as a whole.
  • "Yup. Nobody cares but this site and a few hundred people" Zac and his team have been writing this kind of story since Windows 10 first came out. At first it was articles praising Edge in the face of overwhelming evidence that Edge sucked rocks. It was only when Microsoft actually came out and admitted that Edge sucked that WindowsCentral changed their tune. The same could be said for UWP. At this site it was great. It was the future. Until Microsoft finally admitted that UWP apps universally suck. Then they softened their stance. And, it's the same for the Store. The Store is great. The Store is the future. But, now that Microsoft is finally admitting that the Store failed WindowsCentral is coming around to its senses. WindowsCentral has built a loyal following and has more than a little influence in the world of Windows. Had they not acted as a cheerleader but more as a critical observer they could have perhaps steered Microsoft into a more rational direction. For example, instead of defending Edge in the face of legitimate criticism they should've taken Microsoft to task for their failures. Or, shredded the Store for its anti-competitive and self-destructive policies that excluded Chrome.
  • I work in a support capacity for users and personally I've avoided using Chrome on my windows machine, never having any issues with my devices but a large majority of ppl I help typically have chrome. Now, I just personally have misgivings with Google due to their Anti-Microsoft history and believe that Google goes out of their way to sabotage windows in subtle ways to push ppl away from anything related to Microsoft in lieu of their products. To be honest, I still personally have preferred every move Microsoft has made because I honestly don't view them as inferior but just that everyone else is clearly nuts. You can just be a hater but honestly I'm actually a bit more open now because of Microsoft own admissions that they will have to bend to the crazies, so's not that they're wrong it's just that there's no helping ppl 🙄
  • Agree with you pretty much with everything, however I have a different take on some of it. I look at Microsoft as the new IBM i.e. business enterprise centralized processing. I have never thought of MS as a consumer company but at least in the 90s with IBM compatible computers there was that at least because there was no real other alternative. MainframeCentral LOL Cloud = Centralized Processing i.e. Mainframe
    Microsoft = IBM Who would have thought IBM was right. The good news is MS has basically run out of consumer products to abandon so the articles will slowly disappear, the bad news is most of the articles will be about gaming as that's the end of the road but MS keeps on throwing money down that furnace.
  • If you are one of those (apparently few) users that do care about the trustworthiness of the software you install, and you understand the difference between desktop apps and UWP apps, is the new Store going to make it easier to identify which are which? If you want to make a fully-informed decision, and maybe you've decided to stick with UWP apps where you can (for whatever reason), are you going to be able to tell if a Store app uses its own CDN for updating or has a reliable installer that won't leave a mess behind when you uninstall, before installing the app and potentially compromising your PC?
  • I agree with Zac in here, but there is smthg nobody is talking about... will developers bring their apps to the store? We all saw how Google did everything it could to make Windows Phone Store fail, I have no proof, neither doubts it could do the same.
  • This has already been done numerous times including Games for Windows, Win8/Rt.... the original Microsoft Store i.e. Windows Store. People using Windows don't need "apps", they need legacy "programs" i.e. win32.... but they (Microsoft) already offered that on Games for Windows Live. They eventually abandoned after years of promising they would continue to support and fix their broken stuff. Rinse and repeat. The reason why Microsoft failed at all this in the past is failure to compete, now the consumer doesn't want to be involved. Microsoft isn't needed or wanted to distribute windows programs, see last 30 years. MS simply isn't needed as a middleman.
  • Unpackaged apps are a waste of time in the store, for me. I don't want them.
  • If Microsoft and Apple are trying to hard prep for running systems on arm chips, moves like this might work because of systems being able to take these aged baroque apps, stuffing them into specific frameworks for inclusion for their respective storefronts...but I'm still annoyed by users and developers here for these developments
  • Am I missing something -- 1. Users and developers don't mind downloading reputable apps from sites.
    2. Microsausage is desperate to get users to try Edge. and so why not install on Edge a permanent PROGRAMS tab. Click it and search for what you like. It's advantage could simply be not including irrelevant or mysterious links. Say you want VLC? 1. Click PROGRAMS tab
    2. Search VLC
    3. You get ONE hit of the actual app.
    4. Below perhaps a sponsored hit for a similar program, providing it's a real app and not something questionable
    5. MS would star reputable apps If I were Microsoft I'd only force developers to make downloads obvious and easy. Some of those tiny developers on GitHub or whatever essentially HIDE the download info.