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Rumor mill: For all that Windows 10 has improved over the years, the operating system’s Microsoft Store remains an unlovable experience. However, according to a new report, the Redmond firm is reportedly planning to overhaul its app store in the hope of making it one of Windows 10’s best, rather than worst, elements.
According to a report by Windows Central, the Microsoft Store will get the same design revamp as the rest of the Windows 10 UI, codenamed “Sun Valley,” which is expected to land this fall. The reimagined store will continue to be a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application and keep receiving monthly updates that offer new features and improvements.
Some of the graphical alterations include a new layout, interface, icons, and animations. It’s also said to offer more stability when downloading large games, which can be a pain, as anyone who's installed the likes of Gears 5 (114.6GB) will attest to. But the biggest changes are behind the scenes.
With the new store, developers can submit unpackaged Win32 apps to the store instead of converting them to the MSIX package format. This should make everything from organizing game folders to enabling mods a lot easier.
Additionally, devs can host apps and push out updates using their own content delivery network instead of using Microsoft’s store updates, giving them more control over the type of content users receive and when it arrives.
Finally, and the point that is likely to be most appealing to game makers, developers will be allowed to use their own commerce platforms rather than Microsoft’s—the same issue that led to the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit. Interestingly, Microsoft will reportedly not take a cut from devs who use their own in-app commerce platforms, which would be a first for the industry.
Windows Central reports that Microsoft will make popular first-party programs available through its store to introduce the launch of this revamped version. This includes Microsoft Office, Teams, Edge and Visual Studio, which currently have their own delivery platforms.
Some of the company’s plans could change between now and the arrival of Sun Valley, but a Microsoft Store that isn’t a pain to use certainly sounds enticing.