The revamped Microsoft Store is coming out of beta on October 5, and the company had some big news to share about integration of third-party stores.
In a move that feels like a shot at Apple, the new Microsoft Store will allow third-party storefront apps to be discoverable in the Microsoft Store. That will include both Amazon and Epic Games, which are planning to bring their storefront apps to the Microsoft Store over the next few months.
Following through with its promise from earlier this year, Microsoft says it won’t take a cut of purchases made in these third-party stores that already have their own payment systems.
The announcement from Microsoft comes seemingly in response to the ongoing legal struggles between Epic Games and Apple over the latter taking a cut from purchases made in the iOS app store.
But beyond third-party storefronts, Microsoft claims to be welcoming direct competition, such as third-party web browsers. The company said this is to “enable developers to bring their own browser engines instead of relying on the OS’ web platform.” Opera and Yandex Browser are two web browsers to come on board so far. There’s no word on bigger competitors like Google Chrome or Firefox, though.
The new Microsoft Store has been in beta since its announcement earlier this year, with a public launch now scheduled for October 5, the same day that Windows 11 is expected to launch.
According to Microsoft, the store has some big-name apps ready to launch on day one, including the Opera web browser and Discord. It mentioned that hundreds of apps developers have already registered to bring new apps to the store. The list includes communications apps like Discord, Zoom Cloud Meetings, and KakaoTalk. There are also creativity-focused tools such as Luminar AI, Music Maker, and VLC.
As for the much-anticipated ability to run Android apps in Windows 11, Microsoft shared the news that this feature will be rolling out as a preview for Windows Insiders soon. It is planning to share more details about the system requirements and market availability of the preview experience in the near future.
Windows 10 users are also expected to get the new store as well “in the coming months.”
Windows 11 is set for launch on October 5, and this new Microsoft Store is just one of the new features that will come with it. Other big features include the redesigned Start Menu and Taskbar, a new Widgets experience, and productivity-first features like Snap Groups. We talked about all these features and more in our initial hands-on preview of Windows 11.