What do you want to know:
- The Microsoft Store will soon get several new features.
- Users will be able to restore all their applications from another PC with just one click.
- There’s also a new ad platform for developers, and more.
Microsoft Build 2022 is upon us, which means there’s a lot of news coming out of Redmond that pertains to the app story on Windows 11. Of course, a big part of that app story is the Microsoft Store, which was rebuilt from the ground up last year alongside the launch of Windows 11.
Today, the company is announcing new Store features for developers and end users, all designed to make it easier for everyone to create, discover, and acquire apps. The first big new feature coming soon to the Microsoft Store app is a “Restore Apps” feature that users will be able to find in the “My Library” area of the Store app.
The Apps Restore feature will be linked to your Microsoft account and will be especially useful when moving to a new PC. Once on the desktop, users will be able to head to the Microsoft Store and easily install all the apps installed on their old PC with a single click.
Microsoft is also working to make Microsoft Store app listings appear better in other parts of Windows 11. For example, if you search for Spotify in the Windows search bar, Microsoft will present the first result as a Microsoft Store listing. instead of a third. website.
For Developers, Microsoft announced that the ability to submit unpackaged Win32 applications is now available to all developers with a Windows application. You will no longer need to first sign up for a waitlist for approval, which is great news for indie developers.
Additionally, Microsoft is announcing several new features designed to help developers update their apps and better control who can find them:
- Automation of in-store submissions. Using the new GitHub Action or Rest APIs, developers will be able to automate and manage application submissions directly from their CI/CD build pipeline. Microsoft PowerToys is a great example.
- Application visibility. Developers can now make their Win32 applications invisible, to test them with a small group before putting them online, for example.
- Application telemetry. Developers can now access new analytics dashboards to get more insights into their Win32 apps, understand their user acquisition funnel, app usage, health metrics, and install success analytics .
- App reviews. Developers can now interact with and respond to Win32 app reviews.
There is also a new advertising platform for developers who want to promote their app in the Microsoft Store. These ads will be placed at the top of search results in the Microsoft Store, similar to how the Apple Store and Google Play Store have sometimes “sponsored” listings at the top of search results.
Finally, Microsoft notes that the new Store apps are off to a great start. Since its launch, “thousands” of new apps have been submitted by developers, including big hits like Adobe Express, Audacity, OpenOffice, Firefox, and more. In Q1 2022, the company notes that it saw a massive 50% increase in new desktop apps and games submitted to the Store.
Be sure to check out all the news from this year’s Developer Conference on our Build 2022 page!