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Monday, June 24, 2024

Microsoft Store opens to third-party storefront apps, including Epic and Amazon

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The Microsoft Store, formerly known as the Windows Store, is infamously bad. We declared in 2017 that after years of operation, upgrades, and improvements, sorry, it still sucks. A rumor surfaced in April suggesting that Microsoft was planning a new store that doesn’t suck—a bold strategy—but as of July we were still waiting, without too much optimism.

Today Microsoft announced a new policy that, to my eyes, does not suck: Making third-party storefront apps available on the Microsoft Store, beginning with Amazon and the Epic Games Store.

“Just like any other app, third-party storefront apps will have a product detail page that can be found via search or by browsing—so that users can easily find and install it with the same confidence as any other app in the Microsoft Store on Windows,” Microsoft Store general manager Giorgio Sardo wrote in a Windows Blog post. “Today, we are sharing that Amazon and Epic Games will bring their storefront apps to the Microsoft Store over the next few months, and we look forward to welcoming other stores as well in the future.”

This doesn’t mean you’ll browse the Epic Store through the Microsoft Store, but that the EGS storefront app will be available to download and install through it. Other apps for external storefronts could follow, including Steam. It’s different from the Amazon Appstore integration announced earlier this year, which will enable users to discover and install Android apps on Amazon from the Microsoft Store, but it does fit with what Sardo described as Microsoft’s commitment to making “an open store for an open platform,” a point he previously made in a blog post in June.

Windows 11 is set to roll out to everyone on October 5, but is available right now to everyone in the Windows Insider program. Sardo said that a preview of the Amazon Appstore integration into the Microsoft Store will get underway “soon.”

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