It Looks Like Microsoft Will Rename Windows Store to Microsoft Store

Posted on September 22, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 61 Comments

It Looks Like Microsoft Will Rename Windows Store to Microsoft Store

Image source: MSPowerUser

Microsoft’s many online and retail store brands are confusing to consumers. And it looks like they’re finally going to take the obvious step of fixing that, at least in Windows 10.

Of course, this is Microsoft, so this could just be yet another round of A/B testing.

Anyway, as many tech blogs have reported already, Microsoft has unveiled a new name and icon for the Windows Store in the Release Preview ring of the Windows Insider program. Now, the app is called Microsoft Store—the same name as its retail and online merchandise stores—and it sports a colorful new icon that resembles a 2D shopping bag. (The previous version was a goofy angled shopping bag that was stylistically dissimilar to other Windows 10 icons.)

Microsoft has long maintained multiple stores, and they usually have all had different names. But with Groove Music and Movies & TV pulled into Windows Store in Windows 10, and with the new Books store added as well, this store has been exceeded the bounds of “Windows” for a while: After all, much of this content works elsewhere too. (Further confusing, you can browse and buy Xbox One games from the Windows Store.)

Will Microsoft kill the Xbox Store brand as well? I hope so. This should all just be called Microsoft Store. And maybe this means we’ll see Microsoft hardware and non-Store app software products in the Windows Store now too. Sorry, I mean, in the Microsoft Store.

Which is, of course, the right name for this.


Tagged with ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (61)

61 responses to “It Looks Like Microsoft Will Rename Windows Store to Microsoft Store”

  1. Polycrastinator

    I don't love the store name being the same as the physical retail stores/online hardware store. I feel like that's going to lead to confusion.

    • TheJoeFin

      In reply to Polycrastinator:

      Microsoft should start selling the same devices they sell in their physical stores in their digital one, and they should start selling apps on floppy disk at their physical stores to maintain consistency haha

    • Lewk

      In reply to Polycrastinator:

      lmao! How on earth would that lead to confusion? Will people be walking along the street and say, "OMG, a Microsoft Store, how is this possible? It lives in my taskbar, not in the real world!! Maybe it's a hologram.."? ?

      • Polycrastinator

        In reply to Lewk:

        Branding's important. People knowing what you're talking about is important. You shouldn't have 2 different products with the same name.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to Lewk:

        One conceivable problem would be that web searches for Microsoft Store might now produce several pages of hits for the online store before any hits for the brick & mortar stores. Not that their brick & mortar stores contribute much financially, but using the same name as the online store won't help the physical stores.

  2. Alexander Rothacker

    The product or company name should not be part of the store name IMHO. App Store, Play Store, Windows/Microsoft Store. Two are right one was wrong and is still wrong.

    And that icon is fugly, I just got it on my Surface and it just doesn't look right. Had to look at it twice to realize what it was. Too many colors, while not perfect the old icon was better.

  3. LocalPCGuy

    I like the name "The Store" even more.

    • CaedenV

      In reply to LocalPCGuy:

      It's like how Californians refer to Hwy 101 as "The 101"... which 101? THE 101, THE ONLY 101!

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to CaedenV:

        Yeah, that's up in Northern California. In Greater LA it's the Hollywood Freeway.

        • Jarrett Kaufman (TurboFool)

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          What are you talking about? We call it the 101 down here too. Everyone calls it the 101 here. I drive the 101 constantly, as does pretty much everyone I know, and outside of maybe newscasters, nobody calls it The Hollywood Freeway. There's tons of jokes about the 101. There's a whole romantic card about how "I'd take the 101 to the 10 to the 405 for you." I gave that to my wife because I've literally done that for her.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to TurboFool:


            • Jarrett Kaufman (TurboFool)

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              I polled my Facebook feed of all native Angelinos. Only two of them used the term "Hollywood Freeway," both of whom are over the age of 60. Not only did no one else call it that, but the majority had never even hear the term.

              • Jorge Garcia

                In reply to TurboFool:

                Yeah, it's the 101 to almost everybody in LA/The Valley. Which reminds me of something similar: it's going to be called the iPhone X by everybody, not the "iPhone Ten". That was a really dumb naming move on Apple's part IMO. X as a model identifier works very well on its own, implying 10th anniversary/extreme/experimental all in one.

        • CaedenV

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          I grew up in NorCal, but did live in SoCal for 2 years.... never heard of what you are talking about.

          I never thought about how I referred to roads until I moved to the midwest. Out here people are super picky about if it is a highway, or interstate, and you have to differentiate or people will correct you.

          The one that still trips me up though is that "Reading Road" is pronounced "Red-ding Road"... but then again, these are the same people who pronounce Versailles as "Verse-Ales" lol

  4. glenn8878

    Microsoft Store is the best of all worlds, but Microsoft has done little to promote the brand so it's crippled. Windows is outdated and declining. Xbox is a bright spot, but limited. "Store" should be sufficient within Windows and Xbox. Only use the full name when discussing it.

  5. Simon Flynn

    99% of people using Windows 10 will never even be aware of the change.

  6. nightmare99

    I have received this in the release preview ring now.

  7. PeteB

    "Microsoft’s many online and retail store brands are confusing to consumers."

    For consumers to be confused would require an awareness of Microsoft in the first place. MS isn't even on the radar.

    Xbox is just Xbox, and most consumers wouldn't even put it together that it's the same company that makes Windows - because again, in the consumer space, Windows no longer really exists. In fact, ask consumers who makes Xbox, many would say "Xbox".

    • Jorge Garcia

      In reply to PeteB:

      Too true. Microsoft failed to pivot, not identifying the correct route towards the Post PC world in time. Had they just made a version of desktop Windows "for dummies", where it acts kind of like a mobile device (no desktop, no double-click, limited drag-and-drop)...they might have been able to make a convincing desktop OS for millennials (and the elderly) and the developers might have stuck around. Instead, once Google FINALLY gets their act together, they will be utterly dominating the home computing experience. It seems almost inevitable...although Amazon keeps pulling surprises out of their hat all the time. (I will never be buying into Amazon's vision of the future though!)

  8. John Scott

    They have a store? Just kidding.

  9. rmac

    Sorry but I really like the name Windows Store (for B&M and online). What has perhaps dragged the name down is the link to the old desktop OS. But for the Internet of Things, I think Windows has huge relevance, is a cool name and should equate to the MS de facto window/ UI/ browser/ container/ stream, call that the Microsoft 'end user experience' if you will, and linking back to the Azure data centre, ISP offering or private corporate server.

    Windows everywhere, on everything.

    As an aside, the 'straight on', multi-coloured icon is awful. Just go back to the angled, monochromatic version.

  10. MutualCore

    Better name and icon. Now fix the actual store to eliminate garbage apps.

  11. Lewk

    Finally, an app icon with colour! Hopefully they change all their app icons to have colour.

  12. richfrantz

    I once had a Bing credit in one store, and could only use it there and not in the other MS run store. I hope the unification of their stores fixes that.

  13. Wizzwith

    Makes too much sense, so it won't last.  :)

  14. Bats

    Good idea to rename the Windows Store. 

    However, it's a terrible idea to call it the Microsoft Store.

    A few things:

    1) The less syllables the better. 

    2) The words "Microsoft Store" is already identified as the bricks and mortar establishment that one can walk into.

    3) The brand "Microsoft" is a tremendously outdated brand name, synonomous for most all things, non-enjoyable. LOL...why use it? It should be rebranded something that moves away from that idea like...

    4) "MS Store" pronounced "EM ES Store" or something like that.

    All in all...stay away from the word "Microsoft." 

    • skane2600

      In reply to Bats:

      I don't agree with your interpretation of the general public's perception of MS, but in any case people will obviously know that the store belongs to MS and avoiding "Microsoft" in the name will likely have zero effect on people's willingness to use it.

    • mjw149

      In reply to Bats:

      I think this is the right take. Either accept that 'Windows' embraces all that content and stuff - it's not like 'itunes' only has music on it - or switch to Bing or XStore or something similar future-facing. 'MS' could work, but they haven't laid any groundwork to use that as the 'real' brand, like HP has over the years.

  15. skane2600

    Seems like a good idea because there are few Windows programs (as they've been known for decades) available in the store, so "Windows Store" is a bit misleading. The "UWP Store" would probably be a better name since those apps are the most common items in the store.

    • PeteB

      In reply to skane2600:

      UWP Store would be really pointless since UWP is dead. Consumers and more importantly developers want nothing to do with it. Feature poor, not-even-good-enough-for-mobile apps with ugly touch focused UI's intended for devices they aren't selling, and doesn't really work on the desktop.

  16. rmlounsbury

    The decentralization of the Windows brand as the MS flagship is happening quickly. It makes sense especially if they work to consolidate all their various storefronts into a single platform.

  17. PeteB

    Wow are they finally waking up that Windows isn't a brand consumers care about? Maybe there's hope after all

  18. eeisner

    "And maybe this means we’ll see Microsoft hardware in the Windows Store now too"

    I had this exact same thought. Why not bring hardware into the now Microsoft Store? They sell hardware on the website and in their physical Microsoft Stores - bringing it to the app store makes logical sense. I can't see any other reason for a rebrand to the same name as their web and physical stores...

  19. Waethorn

    Hmm....with Canonical offering a custom Linux kernel image for Azure, is this just a sign of greater things to come?

    Anybody care to argue that Microsoft might be grooming Canonical for a takeover, and maybe, just maybe, Linux will be the post-Windows platform for Microsoft after 2025?

    How much money does Microsoft give to Canonical anyway?

    • skane2600

      In reply to Waethorn:

      It makes no sense for MS to get rid of their profitable Windows platform to enter the commodity Linux market. Canonical is privately held so no financial data on the company is available, but I'll bet their revenues are orders of magnitude lower than MS'.

  20. Waethorn

    The real, immediate reason for this is clear: Microsoft wants to use this to sell Windows PC upgrades because people aren't buying Windows PC's.

    Expect more PC hardware ads.

  21. Jorge Garcia

    This is a necessary move, and though it sounds terrible, I think it's good in the long run. Now they just need to make a version of Windows for the lazy and undisciplined generation(s) that detest "real" Windows. They need something that works like a mobile device first, and a real desktop SECOND, or not at all. What I'm describing is not at all Windows 10 S (although I do stand behind that move in principle, just not in execution). So stated another way, since Microsoft insists on staying in the consumer battle...they NEED to revive the corpse of Windows Mobile, but this time NOT for phones. They should tweak what they already have to make it work on tablets and even "casual" desktops/laptops. Sure, it would be very crippled by "power user" standards, and lack important apps but maybe over time they could get the developers to come back. Note that I am NOT describing Windows RT, I'm describing Windows Mobile, something where there is a home screen (launcher), but there is no such thing as a desktop, no such thing as double-click, and things like drag-and-drop are there, but very limited. Basically Microsoft's Android for casual desktops and laptops. I personally know tons of people who want to compute this way. If MS fails to do this (again), Google will be eating up their ENTIRE home desktop and laptop business in a couple of years.