Windows 10's Microsoft Store app is getting a Sun Valley redesign and relaxed polices for developers

Microsoft Store on laptop

Across its Mac, iPhone and iPad range, Apple's App Store is users' first port of call for downloading new app; on Android, the Play Store is Google's equivalent. But when it comes to Windows 10 large numbers of people eschew the Microsoft Store app in favor of simply downloading apps from developers' websites.

But Microsoft would like this to change, and the company is planning a major revamp of its own store app, according to reports. As well as a visual refresh, the Microsoft Store is set to become friendlier for developers, thanks to relaxed policies -- including permitting the submission of raw, unpackaged .exe and .msi apps.

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According to Windows Central -- citing " sources familiar with the matter" -- the Microsoft Store is in line to receive a "modern and fluid user interface" makeover. But while the aesthetics of the app will be the most noticeable change, Microsoft plans on introducing rather more radical changes behind the scenes in a bid to increase the number and range of app that appear in the store, and to boost usage figures.

One of the biggest changes that's on the cards is allowing developers to submit unpackaged Win32 apps to the Microsoft Store without the need to make any changes to code. This makes life easier for developers from the very beginning, but also further down the line.

At the moment, app updates and in-app purchases have to be handled via the Microsoft Store, but this will not be the case in the updated app. Developers will be able to user there own CND (content delivery networks) to host and deliver apps and their updates. In opening up the possibility for developers to use third-party commerce platforms within their app, Microsoft will be hoping to enliven its store ecosystem and spark the level of interest enjoyed by the App Store and Google Play.

The proposed changes are likely to be welcomed by developers who will be happy to be afforded greater control over the app updating process.    

The updated Microsoft Store is expected to be announced at Build 2021, then entering a period of public preview testing, before launching in the fall with the Sun Valley for Windows 10. The report also suggests that the update could see Microsoft bringing its own apps -- including Office and Visual Studio -- to the store.

Image credit: monticello / Shutterstock

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