Does anyone actually use the Microsoft Store?

84

Having just done a test-install of Windows 10 2004, I thought I’d revisit the Microsoft Store and see how-many apps I use (and some other common apps) are in there.

TL;DR: not many.

Take for example a rarely-used piece of software called “Google Chrome” (/s).

All you find are user-guide PDFs/eBooks, but not the actual software (same for Firefox):

Other results were:

APPS NOT AVAILABLE IN THE MICROSOFT STORE: Adobe Creative Cloud • Adobe Reader • Bleachbit • Brave • CCleaner • CDBurnerXP • dBpoweramp • DOSBox • FileZilla • FoxIt Reader • GIMP • Google Chrome • Google Drive • Google Earth • Malwarebytes • Media Player Classic – Home Cinema • Mozilla Firefox • Mozilla Thunderbird • Oracle VM VirtualBox • Steam • SumatraPDF • Vivaldi • VMWare Player • WinRar

APPS NOT OFFICIALLY AVAILABLE (UPLOADED BY A THIRD-PARTY): 7-Zip • Audacity  • LibreOffice (Paid) • OpenOffice (Paid)

APPS THAT WERE AVAILABLE VIA THE MICROSOFT STORE: Blender • Dropbox • Inkscape • IrfanView • iTunes • Paint.NET (Paid version only) • Skype • Spotify • TeamViewer • VLC Media Player (has warning: “does not offer all features of regular version”)  • WhatsApp  • Windows File Manager • WPS Office (formerly Kingsoft Office)

Overall the Microsoft Store does come-over a bit pointless: you’d think 5 years on it would have more to offer.

I know there is a new Linux-style Package Manager coming (maybe that might be better?), but I do wonder why Microsoft doesn’t just allow companies to put the .MSI version of their app installers into the Store (especially given the Windows RT/10S SKUs never really took-of, where use of Win32 was restricted). With UWP apps no-longer such a priority (Win32 apps will be allowed to use UWP UI elements and APIs soon), surely allowing .MSIs in would create a quick-boost in the available apps?

Comments (84)

84 responses to “Does anyone actually use the Microsoft Store?”

  1. beckoningeagle

    I use it, but not really to find new or undicovered software. I find that using it to get a new setup going is a good idea because you don't have to visit a lot of different sites to get some common software. I also use it to upgrade my customers computers from Windows Home to Windows Pro. Office 365 Personal subscriptions and a few other goodies.


    In Puerto Rico we have a very peculiar political problem which carries into Microsoft distribution of things, and that problem is that we are part of the United States for some things and a completely different country for other things (like CBS All Access which will not work in PR without a VPN or using it through your phone because mobile operators IP addresses are registered in the US). To give you an example, the store will not even load if you set the Windows Region to Puerto Rico. If you set it to United States then the store works, but you can't add payment methods from local banks unless you go through a web browser and set it up directly in your Microsoft Account.


    That is a problem because a user may decide to buy Office 365 Personal through the web site and Microsoft will flag it as the region being Puerto Rico, which means that when it is time to renew, you can't do it through the store and have to wait until the subscription is cancelled in order to renew. I've found that setting up a Microsoft Account and a Payment method through the web site and then sticking to the US Microsoft Store is the best solution for us in the island.


    Many of the things I use the store for will be easier with the upcoming package management and I mey be able to not use the store at all (except to manage games in my Game Pass Ultimate subscription)

    • dftf

      In reply to BeckoningEagle:

      Rather than use the US version of the Microsoft Store, are you not instead able to go to the Office365 login page, and then click where it says "Install Office apps" in the top-right?


      That should download a small .EXE file, and running that will download and install the entire collection of apps you have subscribed to

      • beckoningeagle

        In reply to dftf:

        The problem is not installing it. The problem has to do with buying it and renewing it. Once it is purchased you can use it as everybody else. The thing is that if you buy it through the web page, when it automatically detects your IP and language as being in Puerto Rico, you can't renew it. You have to literally wait until the subscription runs out and the 30 day grace period expires in order to renew. I spent about 2 hours with Microsoft support trying to get a license renewed. Their only solution was to create a new Microsoft Account, which, considering that it is tied to XBox live and other content, is really not an alternative. They were finally able to escalate the problem to a higher level, get the subscription deleted from the Microsoft Account and then my friend was able to buy it, this time from the store, to avoid the issue later on.


        The problem with the store is not something a lot of people notice, since most people correctly set the region to Unites States when setting up Windows, as Puerto Rico is part of the United States and not an actual separate country for international law purposes. The problem is that the store doesn't change your region automatically as the web page does. Microsoft automatically changes the language to Spanish and the region to Puerto Rico when you visit their page, and that is where problems begin.

  2. madthinus

    I really wish the store could be used more often and that it is more scaleable than what it is. My hope that they learn from these mistakes with the Package manager and be closer gatekeepers on that repository than the crap they allowed into the store.


    The number one app I get from the store is iTunes. I still like to clean install a big iOS release and i find the store version a pleasure, since it does install the rest of Apple update.


    I use it for themes, just wish the store makes those easier to find. At the moment I don't know how to access them from the store, other than going through the settings app.


    I would love to see in the store Acrobat Reader. Yes I prefer that app for the signing of documents functionality.


  3. sherlockholmes

    I blocked the Microsoft store on my Windows 10 Enterprise machines. Simply because I noticed that once in a while after uninstalling a store App, its being reinstalled after an Update. When I uninstall an App that means i dont want it. And I dont want Microsoft to reinstall it.

    • bradavon

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:


      Well that's clever. It also updates Windows components and if you use Slack is the best place to install it from.

    • dftf

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      We block it too, except for some higher-ups as they use something called "Director's Desk" which you can only get via the Store. So we unblock for them specifically via a GPO.


      Internally we use Software Center to distribute apps, as part of SCCM (and increasingly less-so via .MSIs installed via Group Policy). All Windows 10 PCs only use Software Center, with manual installs permitted for one-off, approved bits of software we won't package, or user-specific stuff, such as home-printer drivers

      • darkgrayknight

        In reply to dftf:

        I get the blocking the store from an IT perspective, but I don't like it as a user. There are several apps that I would like to be able to install, like the OneNote app (nicer interface), paint.net (I can't install anything unless it is in the software center), InkScape would be great. I help run the IT for a non-profit and have setup a Business store option, which I think is great: Here are the apps that you can install from the store (as we have made sure they aren't problematic) and if you want something else, let us know and we'll add it if we can.

  4. hrlngrv

    Honest question about updates: how simple or difficult is it to update Win32 software packaged for the Store? Comparable to the initial version put in the Store?

    I ask because I have the Store/Windows version of Inkscape installed on my Windows 10 Insider VM, and it's version 0.92.4. Its page(?) in the Store shows the version as 0.92.3. FWIW, the Linux Flatpak version is current at 1.0.0.

    • jtemplin

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      I'd say once you've successfully published your initial version, updates aren't as difficult. Once you learn how to use the Desktop Bridge to build your app bundle in VS Studio, that process is repeatable for your updates. When you upload an update, it's a complete build with a new version number (as opposed to just sending a patch bundle). And in my use cases, for each update I don't need to make extensive revisions to the store listing. I just need to add descriptive information about what's new in the update. The Partner Center makes submitting updates pretty painless; you're not creating the store listing from scratch.

    • dftf

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      I will imagine for many companies, updating the Microsoft Store is less-of-a-priority as most of their installs will still be done the "traditional" way.

  5. jimchamplin

    How did you find a paid version of LibreOffice?


    You should be asking for a refund.

    • bradavon

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      I'd pay to get efficient silent updates.

    • dftf

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Just do a search in the Microsoft Store for LibreOffice or OpenOffice.


      For LibreOffice, the first two apps are "LibreOffice Unofficial" at £4.09 and "LibreOffice Vanilla" at £8.39

      And for OpenOffice, "OpenOffice - Unofficial" at £2.09


      The free, official versions aren't listed in the Store

        • dftf

          In reply to navarac:

          Okay, just to clarify for jimchamplin and navarac -- when I say "paid" I mean "paid version available only". I didn't make any purchases myself, just to be clear.


          I never bother with LibreOffice or OpenOffice full-stop as I always find fidelity issues with Word (general line-spacing / margin issues) and Excel files (wrong-sized cell boarders; different cell colours; hyperlink text always blue, and often a white border around the text; some text doesn't wrap or flow properly; some shapes have borders rendered with a different thickness of border, and shading colour not always the same). Even some simple files I created in older versions of Microsoft Office (2007 or 2010, in the new, more-open DOCX and XLSX formats) all have at-least one noticable rendering issue.


          In constrast, WPS Office renders almost flawlessly; and StarMaker FreeOffice also renders most documents with only minor issues. Not sure why LibreOffice still can't get basic fidelity issues right after all these years...

  6. dftf

    As an interesting point for comparison: if anyone here uses macOS, does the App Store on macOS have a better range of everyday apps in it currently than the Microsoft Store? Are you able to get most of what you need in it, or is it still weak compared to the iOS version of the store?

    • innitrichie

      In reply to dftf:


      The macOS store is also pretty weak. There's lots of junk in there like the Windows Store. For productivity, there are probably a better number of quality apps available in the macOS store. For gaming, unsurprisingly the Microsoft Store is better - even with the introduction of Apple Arcade.

  7. bradavon

    I do for:


    All 4

    BBC News Reade

    Evenote (Desktop Bridge)

    iTunes (Desktop Bridge and so much cleaner)

    OneDrive (UWP)

    Samsung Gallery

    Spotify (Desktop Bridge)

    TVPlayer

    Skype

    Your Phone


    BIGGEST PROBLEM: Not enough apps and especially Desktop Bridge apps are lacking. Pity as it offers a central update location that's efficient and seamless.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to bradavon:

      Re Desktop Bridge software, FTHOI I have Inkscape installed from the Store to compare against Inkscape from other sources. The Store version is 0.92.4 from January 2019. The latest Flatpak under Linux is version 1.0 from May 2020. I'd hope the effort needed to handle Desktop Bridge packaging weren't much greater than the effort needed to handle Flatpak packaging.

      I note that Chocolatey has (Windows) Inkscape 1.0 from June 2020 (updated earlier this week).

      Can/will MSFT remove anything from the Store if the people who put apps in the store don't maintain those apps, don't update them over time? This calls into question the Store's utility as a central update location.

  8. codymesh

    I use the store for Spotify and an image viewer (pictureflect photo viewer) because I find Microsoft's Photos app too damn slow.


    Also I think it's pretty unrealistic to expect companies like Adobe to put their apps on the store when they have built out an entire proprietary ecosystem of cloud services - and respective subscription pricing - that work with their apps.

    • dftf

      In reply to codymesh:

      I guess they could publish the Adobe Cloud app in the Store (given that's free) and once people sign into that app, it then downloads and installs the other paid apps directly from Adobe.


      I doubt they'd have to pay Microsoft the 15% with a setup like that.


      Still makes no-sense though why their free apps, like Adobe Reader, aren't in the Store...

  9. oasis

    I have never set foot(sic) in either the Web Store or the physical one(r.i.p.).I don't own any MS devices, but do use their OS. Still have a working W95, W2000, Vista. W7, W8.1 and 2 W10 units.

    • james_b


      I use both the online store and the in the past the brick and mortar store. I've purchased three Surface Pro's and two Surface Go's in the store and will definitely miss it. I've loved all my MS devices over the years (Zune, Windows phones, Surfaces) and although many were discontinued it was not because of a lack of love for them on my part.


  10. lindhartsen

    I certainly wish more app makers used it since having it do updates vs. manual or background apps having to is nice. I run the desktop Spotify app on Windows and it's nice to never see the "update app" notification in the app vs Mac where it inevitably requires you to restart the app.

  11. waethorn

    No. What was the question again? No.

  12. Daekar

    I always look in the store first for an app, and only go outside it when it's not availalble. That happens frequently, but it's nice to have the ones in the store that I do.

  13. JimP

    Well, I just saw this in the news from yesterday: https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/237250/amazon-brings-a-prime-video-app-to-the-microsoft-store
  14. wright_is

    I came across the first problem with the Store... The latest MS patches for a Code security hole is only available through the Store, but store access and all store apps are disabled by policy on work machines, all security updates go through WSUS.

    That means that none of the several hundred PCs can get the critical updates, because it is forbidden by policy.

    • plettza

      In reply to wright_is:


      I'm curious. Why do they block store access at your work?


      We initially had the Microsoft Store blocked but that was because someone ignorant thought the it'd be a good idea to block it. There was never a case for it to be blocked. It was a result of sheer ignorance. Since, we've opened it up and our users can start installing apps they need like Power BI, and one or two others without needing a to log a helpdesk ticket.


      Granted, there aren't many apps available in the store but users can avail themselves.


  15. bill_strong

    I use it for just a few things.


    1. Alpine Linux
    2. Windows Terminal
    3. Facebook Messenger, so I don't have to have a Facebook page open to get messages.
    4. KiwixJS Wikipedia on my computer
    5. MSIX Packaging tool
    6. Nvidia Control Panel
    7. FluentCast


    I also use ninite for essentailly the same thing as the store, as well as chocolaty, so I would like for it to all be in one place.

  16. kenneth_burns

    I use an old Fujitsu slate as a consumption device, and there are a couple Store apps I find handy.


    1. Instagram. For most social media on the tablet I use a web browser because the interfaces are more robust. But Instagram in a browser isn't great, and the Store app is fine for my needs. Caveat: Compared to Facebook and Twitter my Instagram use is minimal. It's not very important to me. Mainly I need to check Instagram regularly because my husband shares posts with me in DMs and I will be in trouble if I don't keep up!


    2. Nook. My use of Barnes & Noble's e-reader platform dates back to my very first tablet device, a ca. 2010 Nook Color. I no longer buy e-books on Nook because of the DRM, but I still use it for magazines and newspapers. Well, one magazine and one newspaper, the New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal. There are quirks, but in general the interface for reading periodicals is pretty good.


    Side note: I gotta say, I'm kind of delighted with Windows 10 on a 13" tablet! I started using Windows this way about a year ago, and It has really changed how I consume digital content. I'm vaguely planning a forum post about it.

    • kenneth_burns

      In reply to Kenneth_Burns:


      Hang on, I just remembered another Store app I use all the time: Grover Podcast. I run it on my desktop PC to listen to podcasts at home, mainly while wearing wireless headphones and doing chores around the house. As with the Nook and Instagram apps, there are quirks, but Grover mainly suits me just fine. Listening to podcasts on a desktop PC is part of my Smartphone-Free Lifestyle™ ?.

  17. ponsaelius

    The Microsoft Store is really a legacy mobile store. It has some advantages if you have sourced software. It updates in the background. However, many Windows users don't install anything at all. Their work PC comes with all the software it needs or a Software Center from System Center Configuration Manager.


    The purpose of the store was as an entry point for a mobile centric OS future. Except that Microsoft abandoned mobile on their own platform so it's been a orphan for years. I suspect the backend services are still of value but I can't imagine there is much traffic.

  18. ghostrider

    The MS store is a barren wasteland. MS threw everything at it to try and get people to use it, but they just weren't interested. Devs turned their backs on it once Win Mobile died a death. Most UWP apps are poorly maintained (if at all), and it's still littered with 5+ year old 8.1 or RT relics. Some may actually download the odd thing here or there, but the masses steer well clear.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to ghostrider:

      still littered with 5+ year old 8.1 or RT relics

      To the extent Windows 8.1 has a few more years of extended support, shouldn't its apps still be available in the store? Sure, no one may want them, but they should be available as long as there's the possibility some lone Windows 8.1 user might actually want one. At least until 2023.

  19. bschnatt

    Just an interesting note: The ARM version of the Plex app in the store runs fine on my HP Envy x2 (Windows on ARM) machine, but not on my main Intel laptop.


    Plex admits to having problems with the UWP platform (not having the media infrastructure required), which is why they decided to write a full-blown desktop app for Windows 10 to replace it. But the desktop app is 64 bit only, so it won't run on my x2. So, that's one area where the store came in handy for me.


    It's odd that the store app runs fine on my x2 but not on my Intel box (it's supposedly the same UWP app, just compiled for ARM).


    (In case you're wondering, the store app won't play music on Intel machines. You hit Play and it just sits there. Movies and shows play fine, though...)


    Head-scratching...

    • PanamaVet

      In reply to bschnatt:

      I was having trouble managing music on my Microsoft Zune HD. It was throwing a licensing error. I was able to play music but not write it to the device.


      I went to Windows Media Player which I don't use and set the music library there to the directory location for my Zune HD. I also noticed that the context menu on a folder has an Include In option which extends to selections for Music, Video, etc.


      It worked.


  20. PanamaVet

    Google Chrome is not in the Microsoft Store because I asked Microsoft to exclude it.


  21. Modeltrainman

    I get most of my games there, as I prefer Xbox Play Anywhere versions, where available.

  22. Paul Thurrott

    Yes, I use the Microsoft Store.


    I'd use it more if I could. I'd use it for everything if I could. I would particularly like it to have a way to collect apps in bundles so that you can mass install them on a new PC install. You know, like a package manager GUI.


    The Microsoft Store is a good idea. The implementation is sometimes rough---it doesn't handle version upgrades for paid products, for example---and the selection is crap, which is the real problem. But conceptually, it makes sense.


    My best example of this dichotomy is Adobe Photoshop Elements.


    If you buy this from Adobe, normally, over the web or in a retail box (I assume they still have that), you pay $129 or whatever and can install it on up to two computers. You as the customer are responsible for activating and deactivating, and if you reset/whatever a PC, that's on you, and you have to contact customer support.


    If you buy this from the Microsoft Store, you can install it on as many PCs as you want. Period. You can only technical use it simultaneously on some number of PCs (10? I don't know.) But the licensing is night and day.


    On the flip side, the retail version of Elements gives you upgrade rights and you get a lower price if you upgrade directly. But the Microsoft Store doesn't offer this. So you can pay full price or wait for a sale. Those are you only options. (And Premiere Elements, their video editor, isn't in the store, whereas you can get bundles with that and PS Elements at retail.) Well, there is a third. If you bought from Microsoft Store, you can get upgrade pricing at retail but then you lose the licensing benefits. It's a one-way street.


    In the end, this is kind of typical for Microsoft and reminiscent of what happened with Windows Phone. Great idea. Limited implementation and never updated enough to fix all the problems.

    • basic sandbox

      In reply to paul-thurrott:
      The app store is a good idea. Why has the Windows 10 app store been a failure?
      • christianwilson

        In reply to basic sandbox:

        I think it would have done fine if Microsoft allowed traditional Win32 software in there. There are so many positives to having a central location to install software from but UWP/Metro/whatever app development did not take off like Microsoft had hoped. We're left with a poor selection of software in the Microsoft Store and I think it's been tarnished enough that we'll never see developers put much support behind it.


        I do think winget could be a viable replacement once it gets more polish.


        I should also note that I do use the Microsoft Store whenever possible. I wish I could use it for everything but I really can't. I've tried.

        • thejoefin

          In reply to christianwilson:

          The store needs 100% trust and publishing any .msi or .exe would be troublesome. Much of the time established software companies already have their own distribution channels and don't want to give Microsoft 15% so they stick to what they know.


          It will be interesting to see how these established companies handle WinGet.

          • dftf

            In reply to TheJoeFin:

            "don't want to give Microsoft 15% so they stick to what they know"


            Doesn't Apple take around a third in the Apple Store? (Not sure what cut Google take in the Play Store). 15% doesn't sound as-bad, though I appreciate on iOS devices the store is the *only way* to get an app, and even on Android most people don't randomly download .APKs


            But even this argument aside, still makes no-sense why free software couldn't go in there... Google Chrome has an .MSI based version of the installer, which installs the app globally for all users. Why can't this just go into the Store?

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to basic sandbox:

        It's a good idea for MSFT. It may be a good idea for many users. It may be a good idea for some ISVs/developers, but it may not be a good idea vs selling from their own web sites for some other developers. It may not work well for FOSS and cost-free closed source software. Also, others have mentioned it's difficult for Win32 software.

        It's unlikely any abandonware (old software no longer maintained by copyright holders) will ever make it into the store because no one else could LEGALLY package it for the Store, so it only exists on shareware/freeware sites in its last version.

        There's also the possibility that a large % of home PCs are used for little more than browsing the web, so those users aren't adding any other apps either from the Store or the web. Any large enterprises have locked down PCs, so none of their employees would be installing anything either from Store or web. It may be the case that fewer than 1/3 of PCs run all newly acquired software.

        • jtemplin

          In reply to hrlngrv:


          Yes, difficult for Win32 software. Learning the Desktop Bridge and making sure everything worked correctly and passed the tests of the Windows App Certification Kit were daunting. Why didn't I write my app in UWP? I had no choice, really. My app reads a Microsoft Access .mdb database (System.Data.OleDB isn't supported in UWP), and a good chunk of my target users were/are running Windows XP and Windows 7.

    • bradavon

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      The Store version of Photoshop Elements isn't compatible with Windows on ARM though.

  23. Patrick3D

    Other than the generic Windows 10 apps I have 4 installed. The HEVC Extensions is a paid install that's not free with Windows and needed for 4K video playback.

    Cover - Comic Reader

    iTunes

    HEVC Extensions

    Dolby Atmos for Headphones

  24. hrlngrv

    There are MS Office, excuse me, MSFT 365, entries in the Store, but they redirect to a web site, and MSFT uses its own non-Store, non-AppX installer for it. No reason other software couldn't follow that approach AS LONG AS MSFT made it economically worthwhile for ISVs.

    Me, I've installed InkScape, Code Writer and VLC from the Store. For me, Store VLC isn't worth it. Maybe it uses less power than the regular desktop version, but I only use it on a mini PC which only uses AC. I've tried to use Code Writer, but I'm so used to Notepad++ keyboard shortcuts it's hopeless. And that's the problem: familiarity with the old, habits, die hard.

    Someone tried putting Notepad++ in the Store years ago, but it never really worked. I suspect never really worked is the main reason there's so little in the Store even if there are a few who've convinced themselves the Store is adequate.

    A final note: MSFT bought Revolution R and offers it now as R Open, but NO ONE at MSFT has tried to make a Store GUI front-end for it. Not even to suck up to whichever senior managers have theoretical responsibility for UWP or the Store. I consider that possibly indicative that UWP/Store just ain't worth the effort.

  25. wp7mango

    With the exception of Visual Studio and my Presonus DAW, yes I use the Microsoft store for all my apps, including Win32 apps.

  26. bschnatt

    Yes. The store app is easy to start, it's relatively easy to find apps you want (assuming they've been published, of course), and the UWP variant of apps are small and secure (if not always full-featured). Why wouldn't anyone not look to the store first?

  27. coeus89

    I have it as my preferred way to install software. Just to name a few, Todo, Shotcut, Spotify, Whatsapp, messenger, twitter, PocketCasts, Audible, YourPhone, and fitbit. These are the ones i use at least every week. I love that I don't have to worry that they are up to date or go through some install process when i start up. I wish i could get everything through the store.

  28. SWCetacean

    I get quite a bit of software from the Microsoft Store. Drawboard PDF (I much prefer it to Adobe stuff), MusicBee (no plugin support in Store version), Paint.NET, Spotify, iTunes (better from store since it won't install a whole bunch of other stuff), Nvidia Control Panel, MyTube (YouTube client that allows me to avoid YouTube recommendations and ads), 8-Zip (nicer-looking 7-zip clone), Dolby Access (to enable Dolby Atmos for Headphones), OneNote, Facebook Messenger, and a package tracking app.

    I have also gotten a few games on the Microsoft Store (ReCore, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Quantum Break, and a few smaller ones).


    I do hope that the Store eventually just becomes a GUI for WinGet. Just like how the Ubuntu Software Center is pretty much a GUI for apt/dpkg.

    • dftf

      In reply to SWCetacean:

      Can't say I use anything like MyTube on a computer, as if you use the YouTube website in a browser with an ad-block enabled it blocks all the adverts anyway. (I have used MiniTube on Ubuntu/Mint though).


      Is there a similar app you could recommend for Android, though? I'd love an app there that is safe to sign into your gmail account on, but which can block some of the ads...

      • paradyne

        In reply to dftf:

        MyTube is great, as an app it gives me notifications of new videos in the Action Center, and it can use an overlay window if I just want a PIP style player in the corner of the desktop while I'm working.

        • dftf

          In reply to paradyne:

          Doesn't the current version of Firefox allow videos to play PIP style -- I'm sure YouTube is supported. Just look on the right-edge of a video for a blue icon with an arrow, click it and the video will pop-out into its own floating window... you can then minimise Firefox and drag it anywhere on-screen, and even resize it

      • SWCetacean

        In reply to dftf:

        The main problem I have with using the YouTube website is that there are the recommendations on the right side, and the recommendations are usually useless. MyTube's interface allows me to go through a whole YouTube watching session without ever seeing one of YouTube's algorithmic recommendations and that's great. I already run an adblocker in Edge, so I don't need to worry about ads either way. Also, the YouTube website isn't the best for touchscreen usage, so if I want to watch something on my Surface in tablet form, a client is better.

        Oddly enough, I don't really watch youtube on my phone though, so I don't know of any clients there.

    • dftf

      In reply to SWCetacean:

      For iTunes, if you download the .EXE installer and then extract the contents (e.g. using 7-Zip) you will get the individual .MSI files that install each part of the suite (AppleApplicationSupport.msi, AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi, AppleSoftwareUpdate.msi, Bonjour.msi, iTunes.msi and SetupAdmin.exe, which is what runs during a normal install)


      The only three essential ones are AppleApplicationSupport, AppleMobileDeviceSupport (though if you've no i-Device, that can be skipped too, e.g. if you only want to use the radio or Store) and iTunes.

  29. Dave

    I use it for paint.net (small payment) , HP scan & Capture, and Nitro Office (libreoffice) both of which are free. I've found it very convenient but very disappointing in its development.

  30. erichk

    I use it when I can. I just bought a new Core i7 gaming rig, and as I reinstall stuff, so far I've reinstalled the following apps from the store:


    LastPass

    Dictionary Pro

    Spotify

    Windows Mixed Reality PC Check

    Clock (this is a clock app; no really, it is) ;-)

    VLC

    Windows Dev Center

    Cinebench

    Asphalt 8


    And there's still more to come. Of course, I still go out to the web for other apps as well.


    It's a bummer that one of my favorite apps, the Bank of America app, got pulled. But what can you do.

  31. earlster

    If an app has a store, or regular installer, I always use the store. Especially the auto update is a must IMHO these days, and I don't need a bunch of tray apps or other services polling for updates all the time, that drives me nuts.


    But, I also have issues with all those things that Paul mentions in his comment, and then some. The store is incomplete, full of crap apps, abondonware and finally it's awful to search and navigate.

    It's unfortunately a half baked and unfinished store, and it's own worst enemy.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to earlster:

      Abandonware may describe most Win32 software still in use. It'll always be with us, and much of it may have more daily active users than a fair % of actively maintained software.

      • dftf

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        Not forgetting of course most Torrent software, also...

      • dftf

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        It also describes some of the biggest, most-popular software still in use: Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, Google Drive, DropBox, Spotify, Firefox, 7-Zip, WinRAR, pretty-much every Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware app, Steam and all device-drivers are still Win32.


        It would pay Microsoft to make it easier for such software to enter the Store

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to dftf:

          Abandonware is software no longer maintained but still under copyright.

          That's NOT the case for MS Office, Google Chrome, etc. It is the case for some markdown editors, some simple games, a lot of utilities.

          How could such software LEGALLY be packaged for the Store? OTOH, 15-year-old .zip, .exe or even .msi files on C-Net, Tucows, etc remains legal to offer.

  32. kingv84

    I use it for the useful apps that are available on the Store. It’s easier to manage apps in one place than having to visit multiple sites and each app having its own automatic update software running in the background.

  33. erichk

    I *love* the idea of the Windows app store, and for all the reasons already stated it would be great if we could rely it for almost everything.


    But I have to admit ... I'm the author of about five apps in the store (all games), and I find the submission process to be overly complex, IMO.


    If you're submitting Modern/UWP/Metro apps or whatever, it's not *horrible*, but...


    My goodness, I've submitted two Desktop Bridge programs (Win32), and it was so convoluted that I really can't imagine ever submitting more Win32 apps again.


    But then again, I'm just a hobbyist, so hopefully this won't deter too many professional software development shops.


    What it amounts to is that unless you're in the know, I think the general public is starting to learn to be afraid of downloading something off the web that has a plain old .EXE installation routine. I understand the logic, but as a hobbyist it makes things difficult. I now have submitted a bunch of my games to Itch.io. People there know what to expect -- they know it's all indie games, so they download the installer, run it, and they don't panic at the warning.

  34. jtemplin

    I use the store to sell a very specialized app that I charge above-average money for (I won't mention it because my point isn't to self promote). Learning how to publish my WPF app on the store had a steep learning curve, but I get a lot of benefits.


    My app currently sells well (I'm averaging almost 2 sales a day right now). But without the store, that's not enough yet for me to afford the monthly costs of my building and maintaining my own ecommerce website.


    So the store has been a great way to get my app out there in the public for relatively low entry cost and fuss. While the store takes 15%, that's far less than the cost to do it myself right now. Microsoft takes care of collecting and paying VAT and sales taxes for me for jurisdictions that require it. I sell to international customers, so they accept payment in native currency (not everyone has PayPal). They deal with returns and automatically distributing updated versions to users for me. And I get good analytics through their Partner Center portal as to who's buying my app. It's much cheaper to outsource this to the store right now. The money I net gets dropped into my checking account every month.

  35. jumpingjackflash5

    The best feature of Microsoft Store for me is the ability to install a package on multiple computers, e.g. on desktop, my laptop and my Windows tablet. This way I can achieve consistent environment with software I wanna have everywhere. Also fonts like Georgia Pro, Verdana Pro or Arial Nova can be installed this way.


    Also ability to automatically update (which can be switched on and off per app) is great, I do not like separate "software updaters" for many applications.


    I wish Microsoft Store continues and provides great way to update and install windows apps. That said, the ability to install manually or through MSI installer could remain as well.

  36. luthair

    Anecdotally, the store versions of applications are inferior in function and previously were saddled with the metro UI which is inferior. The one exception I found was Slack which presumably did away with the bloated electron stack.


    As someone who uses both Linux and Windows - I don't see the point in the Windows package manager. The primary purpose of a package manager is to manage dependencies, on Windows dependencies are typically packaged with the installer.

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