Microsoft Store for Windows 11 is significantly better than the one for Windows 10. However, the Windows 11 Store will not offer backend, Over The Air (OTA) update support for Win32 desktop-grade applications or apps.
Windows 11 Store will host a wide range of apps for the upcoming operating system. While Microsoft Store for the OS will offer Android, Win32, Progressive Web App (PWA), and Universal Windows Platform (UWP), it won’t update the standard desktop-grade applications?
Windows 11 Store will host but not update Win32 apps?
Windows 11 is a radically different iteration of the Windows OS family. Microsoft is fundamentally changing the available options, functions, features, and even core System Requirements.
The new OS comes with an equally new and fundamentally redesigned App Store Microsoft Store. Microsoft has optimized the repository for all developers.
The company assures Windows 11’s native app store will allow apps that are based on almost any framework. The list of supported frameworks includes Win32, .NET, Java, UWP, and web apps too.
— MSPoweruser (@mspoweruser) July 26, 2021
The Windows 11 Store should work faster and offer a wide range of applications, but it seems the digital app repository has its limits.
Microsoft will let developers submit their unpackaged Win32 apps in the Windows Store These are the traditional desktop-grade applications with .exe extensions.
Simply put, Microsoft is allowing .exe programs that use custom content delivery networks for hosting and for updates. But the company will not offer OTA updates for unpacked Win32 programs through Windows 11’s Microsoft Store.
With Windows 11, Microsoft is modernizing the right-click context menus for UWP and Win32 (desktop) apps. As part of the update, Microsoft is also improving the contextual file operations and introducing new opportunities for Windows apps, including #https://t.co/3FNHIw13gU pic.twitter.com/39hIP7XZV6
— amnesiacYT (@amnesiacyt) July 20, 2021
This simply means Microsoft will only offer applications, which users can search, download, and install through the Windows 11 Store. However, after the initial install, users will have to rely on the developers of the Win32 apps for updates.
“Updates to Apps are not required to be submitted through the Store. End users will not be able to receive updates from the Store. Apps can be updated directly by You via your App that is installed on a Windows Device after downloading from the Store.”
Will Win32 App developers offer in-app updates?
Microsoft’s Rudy Hyun confirmed that the company wants to be “very transparent” about apps listed in the Store.
You can decide to install or not an application based on who updates it. We tried to be very transparent, there is a text below the app name: pic.twitter.com/nRln1F9quE
— Rudy Huyn (@RudyHuyn) July 22, 2021
Needless to mention, this method is in stark contrast to the Google Android Play Store, and Apple iOS App Store. Both these dominant app stores offer updates through their own delivery channels.
With Windows 11, Microsoft has taken a different route for the Microsoft Store. The company was no longer building the store to make it a pure profit-generating center.
WinUI 3 is the Fluent Design-based native user experience framework for Windows apps, both Win32 and UWP, installable via the Windows Store.
— Eager Beaver (@eagerbeavertech) July 26, 2021
The company has significantly cut its fees. Meanwhile, it has thrown open the doors for app developers from all kinds of sources, platforms, and frameworks. These include traditional and legacy Win32 apps, in addition to Android apps through Amazon Store, and perhaps even Linux apps.
This approach, however, comes with some downsides. Particularly for Win32 apps, Microsoft is not taking responsibility for updating the apps. Windows 11 users will have to rely on the developer’s own installer and updater.