What a difference a few policy changes make: Microsoft revealed today that Epic Games is bringing its online store into the Microsoft Store in Windows 11.
“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,” the Microsoft announcement notes vaguely.
It appears that this means that the Amazon mobile app will be downloadable from the Microsoft Store, as will the Epic Game Store apps. These are not store-within-a-store experiences, but rather standalone downloads.
(We already knew that Amazon’s AppStore for Android was coming, and that will be a true store-within-a-store experience.)
This is interesting on a number of levels, but as you may recall, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney was previously one of Microsoft’s fiercest critics, back when the software giant added what was then called the Windows Store to Windows 8. Since then, the two firms have moved closer together, however. In 2019, Tim Sweeney appeared at the HoloLens 2 launch. And now, Mr. Sweeney is going to make his Epic Games Store available from the Microsoft Store on Windows.
This is part of a new strategy on Microsoft’s part to make its online store an open platform. And the reason Epic has done such an about-face is that Microsoft is no longer charging Apple-like fees: It no longer charges fees for stores, like Epic’s, that have their own payment systems. That said, it would be even more interesting if the Epic Game Store was available directly inside the Microsoft Store, as will be the Amazon AppStore for Android.