Microsoft is building a new app store to revive its current effort which is, objectively, awful. The new store will address a number of issues with the current disaster including its user interface and some important changes for developers that could revolutionise the platform.
According to Windows Central (opens in new tab) the changes are absolutely enormous, particularly for developers who will be allowed to implement their own in-app payment systems without Microsoft taking the traditional app store cut of 30%. This will please Epic greatly and will put the noses out of every other app store on planet earth.
For the first time developers will also not be expected to use the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) for apps. This means that developers can simply put their Win32 programmes into the store and allow customers to access them in one centralised place, rather than going online to find downloads. This could be something of a boost for safety too, as customers will know they’re getting a genuine app rather than some shady malware.
Less important, but still encouraging, is the news that there should be a graphical overhaul too, giving the user interface a new look in line with Microsoft’s Sun Valley update which is going to be available later this year, or perhaps early 2022.
If you’re in any doubt about just how soul-crushingly bad the Microsoft Store currently is, install a game. Now try and work out where it was installed. If you do work out where it went, what you’ll find when you get there is a mess of files which can only be placed in the root of any drive. That’s not even the worst bit, wait until one of the apps breaks and you need to troubleshoot it.
It’s perhaps unlikely that this will change much. Microsoft’s DRM and file encryption is the frustration with how it installs games in the root of the drive, and it’s unlikely it will rethink this, as much as it annoys people who like to know where their operating system is putting things.