On the first day of its Build 2022 developer conference, Microsoft highlighted the progress it made with its new Microsoft Store that launched with Windows 11 last year. If the software giant really struggled to get high-profile developers on board during the Windows 8 and Windows 10 eras, things finally started to change after Microsoft allowed unpackaged Win32 apps on its Microsoft Store for Windows 11 last year.
“Over the past year, Microsoft Store welcomed thousands of great apps like ACDSee Gemstone, Adobe Express, Audacity, Canva, Course Hero, Discord, Drawboard PDF, Epic Games, Firefox, Luminar Neo & Luminar AI, Mailchimp, Meitu XiuXiu, Microsoft Teams, OpenOffice, Paramount+, PuTTY, WinZip, and Zoom. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, we saw more than a 50% increase in new desktop apps and games coming to Microsoft Store compared to the same period last year,” said Giorgio Sardo, general manager, Microsoft Store.
Today, Microsoft is getting rid of its waitlist program for Win32 apps on the Microsoft Store. All developers can now submit their apps and the Microsoft Store accepts .NET, C++, Electron, Flutter, Qt, Rust, and more technologies.
The Redmond giant also announced today a couple of new Store features for Windows app developers:
App visibility: Developers can now make their Win32 apps undiscoverable on the Store to only allow select users to test them.
App telemetry: Microsoft now offers developers new analytic dashboards providing data about Win32 apps usage, health metrics, and install success analytics.
Microsoft Store Ads: developers will soon be able to create ad campaigns in the Microsoft Store using Microsoft Advertising, and a pilot program will kick off soon.
Microsoft also had a couple of Microsoft Store news for consumers today. First of all, the Amazon Android App Store will become available in five additional countries including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and United Kingdom later this year.
Lastly, Windows Insiders will soon be able to use Windows Search to find Windows apps without having to open the Microsoft Store. Microsoft will also soon start testing a new “Restore apps” feature that will let Insiders automatically download their previously installed apps on a new Windows 11 PC.