Microsoft unveils new app store for Windows 11 with support for more desktop applications

Windows 11 New Store
Windows 11 New Store (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announces new app store for Windows 11.
  • It supports more app types, including unpackaged Win32 .exe and .MSI programs.
  • Apps can now use their own CDN and commerce platforms, and Microsoft won't take a cut.

Microsoft has unveiled a brand new app store that it plans to launch alongside the release of Windows 11 later this year. The new app store features a fluid new design, as well as relaxed policies around what kind of apps can be submitted to the storefront by developers.

The new Microsoft Store will go into preview alongside Windows 11 next week, but the store won't roll out officially until this fall. The new store features policy changes that allows app developers to submit unpackaged Win32 apps, such as raw .exe and MSI applications.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft is also allowing app developers to use their own content delivery networks for app hosting and updates, meaning app updates no longer have to come directly from the Microsoft Store.

Finally, the company has announced that app developers can now use third-party commerce platforms, and Microsoft won't take a revenue cut from apps that do. Microsoft will continue to take a cut from app developers who use Microsoft's own commerce platform, however.

Even with these policy changes, Microsoft says that the new app store on Windows 11 will be a trusted location for finding the best apps on Windows. These relaxed policies mean end users will be able to find more of the apps they use, without having to open a web browser to download them.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft will be adding Teams, Office, Edge, and Visual Studio to the new Microsoft Store as a result of these new policy changes. Microsoft wants the app store on Windows to be an open platform that highlights the best of Windows.

Microsoft also just announced Amazon would bring Android apps to the Microsoft Store and let you run them in a dedicated container seamlessly as if they were native apps. While Amazon apps do not support Google Play, the long-term plan is to get even more Android stores into the Microsoft one. That could mean Samsung and even Google Play down the road as Amazon alone is not the end goal.

Microsoft says that its goal with this new app store is to be an open storefront that showcases the very best of Windows. The new Microsoft Store will ship this fall as part of Windows 11, but will also be made available on Windows 10.

What are your thoughts on the new Microsoft Store app? Let us know in the comments, and check out the rest of our Windows 11 coverage too!

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.

  • How about Android apps for Windows on ARM?
  • Ask and ye shall receive:
  • Finally Microsoft is rolling out an app store that plays to its various strengths and the needs of its users instead of trying to copy Apple which lead directly to the Microsoft app store being a rotted out core populated by countless and endlessly useless games whose main purpose is to serve up ads. Then there is a monetization model that should keep Microsoft from getting sued by various governments; the contractual terms Apple imposes on developers would land Apple in prison for felony robbery if it was a biological person instead of a fictional one. Bring on the EXEs and PWAs! As for UWPs - yeah, exactly. Now all they have to do is not screw it up something that is not guaranteed.
  • are they going to continue to screen these apps for bugs, viruses
  • They need to make sure that the apps are not a security risk for the users.
    This can backfire easily if someone tries to steal users information or attack their pc.
  • This was their biggest flex today. Devs will love this.
  • The photos app looks updates from this photo! That bar along the bottom is new.
  • UhM UhM, waiting for a windows PC phone. Bring it, Bring it, now if they can just get food apps on Amazon.... This may be a huge turning point for both companies...
  • Mostly great news. I'm a little sad by that we'll get more chaos and less UI consistency with the move away from the UWP requirements, but that obviously had not worked, so I support opening that up. Love that Android apps are coming and like that it's done with Android. If I'm understanding correctly, that means it won't be via Google Play, which in turn means that not ALL Android apps will be there, only those also make it to the Kindle Fire. That's not all, but it's most. Most of the EA Play games, for example, are not on available on Kindle Fire. This was a model I've long advocated for MS to use to get back into the phone market without being dependent on Google while closing the app gap (before they announced that the Duo would work with Google Play).
  • Actually I love the new store. I think I might design some uwp apps off to watch other stream at 3 p.m.
  • I like the new look! :)