Microsoft Store finally allows third-party stores like Amazon and Epic Games Store

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For years Microsoft has maintained its own Windows 8 and 10 storefront for different apps and games, but you were always limited to the small variety of software available, especially if you were using a device with S mode enabled. Fortunately, that is changing a bit now.

Microsoft announced the opening of its storefront in Windows 11 to more applications in a blog post today. And while at present which includes super useful apps like Discord and Zoom, it also opens its doors to apps from third-party stores, which is huge.

Over the “next few months,” Epic Games and Amazon will be bringing their storefronts to the Microsoft Store, and one pretty big reason is probably that Microsoft won’t require these companies to share their revenue. In this blog post, Microsoft states that “Microsoft Store on Windows no longer requires application developers to share their revenue with Microsoft, when applications run their own integrated payment systems.” No wonder Amazon and Epic Games are rushing to be included.

But the real benefit here will be for Windows 11 users, especially those who aren’t comfortable browsing the web for useful software – or the risks involved.

Cybersecurity in action.

(Image credit: iStock)

Useful and safe

I’m just going to go out and say it, at the moment I don’t really use the Microsoft Store for anything other than getting games through Xbox Game Pass. Even the apps available through Microsoft’s storefront, I’ll probably look elsewhere. Not only is the Microsoft Store UI on Windows 10 a bit clunky and ugly, but it’s so tied to a Microsoft account that I usually don’t want to bother with it – especially if it’s on a laptop I’m am reviewing. not connected.

But I do know that nerds like me who like to do things the old-fashioned way are kind of a dying breed, especially as people are getting used more and more not just to phones with storefronts. ‘applications, but even to other computing platforms – like macOS and Chrome OS. Both of these platforms have much more useful stores than Microsoft’s and this is almost entirely due to the fact that Google and Apple have built such a huge and readily available software catalog.

This is especially true now that Apple has essentially moved all iOS and iPadOS apps to Mac, starting with macOS Catalina from 2019. But because Microsoft has always struggled to achieve the same software saturation on its platform, he’ll likely need help if he wants people to see the Microsoft Store as the central hub for software.

Adding storefronts like the Epic Games Store and Amazon will absolutely do that, and we’re sure there will be other storefronts that Microsoft hasn’t listed that further expand what’s available on Windows 11. We already know that Microsoft will be allowing Android apps to run on Windows 11 later this year, and that’s going to be huge for people who just want useful software without putting themselves at risk.

Because even though more savvy computer users like me know how to find legitimate software and avoid downloading malicious code, I got there through trial and error when I was young, and it’s just as difficult as never.

You can always look for free software to do something specific and come across a webpage that absolutely has a safe version of that software to download – but it will be surrounded by a bunch of ads with big “download” buttons. . it certainly won’t be what you wanted to download.

And it seems like basic computer security to avoid these things if you are a longtime internet dweller, but there are a lot of people who come to Windows who have only used smartphones and tablets, and don’t are probably not quite so prepared to download a bunch of apps through a search engine. And it’s going to be great for them.

Representative image of a cybercriminal

(Image credit: Avenir)

Even reputable software can lead to vulnerabilities

Not that long ago, I probably would have laughed at this news like “who needs it, you can just Google EGS and download the software there”, but when earlier this year people were infected with malware by downloading MSI Afterburner – easily one of my top recommended software for PC gaming – it started to make sense.

What happened there is that some hackers set up a spoofed version of the MSI Afterburner software page that looked like fairly legitimate – and it lasted about a month. Again, this could be avoided by simply doing due diligence – the bogus site had an “afterburner-msi.space” URL, which is, uh, of fish to say the least, but again, I could totally see someone not even notice it and fall victim to it.

While at this time it’s pretty easy to type “Epic Games Store” into Google and quickly get to the right page for a secure download, I think it’s pretty naïve to think that hackers couldn’t. not spoof the EGS landing page to access people’s computers.

A field photo on the Xperia 10 III

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Hope Microsoft leaves the operating system open

But while it’s definitely a good thing that Microsoft leaves more software on its store – which is a nice and safe way to get software – I don’t want to use it myself. I like to play with my own computer on my terms, and I hope Microsoft keeps that as a possibility.

In Windows 11, Microsoft will not lock the operating system for just the Microsoft Store and it probably never will be. But I want to take a moment to say that while I think it’s definitely a win for accessibility and usability to make more software available through the official Microsoft Store, I never want this to become the default way of you have to get software.

One of the most magical things about computers is that it’s those little boxes filled with rare metal that we channel lightning into to do whatever we can dream of. And while this is still true with the Microsoft Store, there is certainly something magical about using new software that was created in someone’s basement – or even making your own software and running it. execute.

The world of Windows software can be a little scary if you’re not careful, so definitely use the now larger Microsoft Store if you just want to get the tool you need and call it a day. But I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to give up the freedom to download software from anywhere and really design my PC the way I want at that time.

But then again, I’m a weirdo who actually enjoys wiping out his PC and installing a bunch of software to set it up from scratch. And I don’t know a lot of other people like that, but we can really have the best of both worlds, and I hope that’s the way it is.


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