the Windows Store wants to overshadow Steam with Sun Valley

With its big Windows 10 “Sun Valley” update, Microsoft could completely rethink how the Windows Store works. Between design and policy changes, the store could finally become an essential place for PCs.

The Windows 10 Microsoft Store // Source: Frandroid

On smartphones, the quality of an ecosystem is judged by that of its application store, the real sinews of war. Gradually, this mentality began to trickle down to other platforms, starting with PCs that have the Mac App Store at Apple or the Windows Store at Microsoft. The latter is however very open to criticism and a complete overhaul would only be welcome. The good news is that this revamp is apparently planned for Sun Valley.

A new Windows Store in Sun Valley

According to information from Zac Bowden, of Windows Central, the Windows Store would be completely revised on the occasion of the major Windows update which would bring a new design to the operating system.

Known as Sun Valley, this Windows 10 update has been talked about for many months and is slow to show up. The biggest change would first be aesthetic with curvaceous shapes and better thought out windows, bringing the system closer to Windows 10X, the version designed for touch screens, thus facilitating certain ergonomic points.

Corroborating this information, Brad Sams indicates that this new store would be known internally as Cobalt.

can confirm what @zacbowden wrote about the new store coming to Windows 10

It could be called Cobalt

Also Cherry Hill codename plays a part in this, could be part of unlocking Sun Valley pic.twitter.com/PwVVjfknGc

—Brad Sams (@bdsams) April 20, 2021

But it would seem that the biggest change in this update ultimately comes from the philosophy of recovering applications and therefore from the Windows Store.

A complete renewal of the Windows Store

Aware of the shortcomings of Windows Store, Microsoft engineers therefore not only modified its design (iconography, animations, organization, etc.), but also its operation, in order to reinvigorate the interest of users and developers in it. Zac Bowden’s sources point to three major changes:

  • The ability for developers to submit unpackaged Win32 apps in APPX (current Windows Store format) or MSIX
  • The ability for developers to manage their own update feed
  • The ability to use third-party trading platforms in the apps

Once these three restrictions are lifted, nothing should block developers from publishing their applications on the Windows Store, without changing a single line of code. One could thus imagine the arrival of all possible and imaginable software on the Windows Store in EXE or MSI format, including games. Something to shake Steam and Epic Games. Moreover, by allowing the integration of third-party commercial platforms, Microsoft would thus promise not to take its share of the cake on the purchases made by users. At a time when Apple and Google are viewed askance by certain developers for its excessively high commissions, Microsoft thus becomes the “A good boyfrom GAFAM.

Ironic: this change proposed to Microsoft to more easily distribute a large number of its own applications such as Teams, Office or Edge.

Now we are waiting even more for the Sun Valley update.


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