Microsoft is open to Steam being part of its new Windows 11 app store

Filed in Technology by on June 27, 2021

Microsoft’s unexpected move in Windows 11 is a far more open approach to its Windows store, which might lead to the inclusion of Steam titles in the future. Many improvements are coming to the Windows app store as a result of this new open strategy, including Microsoft’s integration with Amazon’s Appstore to include Android apps and allowing developers to keep 100% of their money by using third-party payment services. Other alternative app stores, such as Steam and Epic Games Store, are also expected to be included in the new Windows app store, according to Microsoft.

In an interview with The Verge, Windows and Device Chief Panos Panay states, “Windows already hosts those stores in many ways, and if we can host it through the Microsoft Store, then of course.” “Certainly, it implies that if people like to visit the Store, they are most welcome to do so. In fact, it’s encouraged, which is why we’re putting in place some of these policies.”

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Steam has grown into a large game and software store on Windows over the years, and Panay sees a future for the Windows app store in which users can locate the games they want regardless of competing storefronts. “I truly want this experience,” Panay says, “where you go to the store, type in the app you want, and you get the app you want.”

While Microsoft supports the concept of an open marketplace, there are some restrictions. If developers utilize alternative payment channels, Microsoft will allow them keep 100% of the money from their apps, although this does not apply to games. It’s a major oversight, coming just weeks after Microsoft stated that, beginning August 1st, it would reduce its cut of game revenues in the Microsoft Store from 30% to 12%.

It’s also unclear how this guideline would apply to different app stores. Microsoft appears to be just listing Android apps from Amazon’s Appstore in its own store, effectively pointing to a different shop. If Steam were to merge with the Windows app store, it would most likely be through a similar linking arrangement, avoiding the direct hosting of programs and games in Microsoft’s app store.

This would still be an upgrade above what is currently available in Windows 10. If you’re setting up a new system, you’ll either have to look for installers on the internet, download only a few of the apps accessible in Microsoft’s Windows store, or use a third-party package manager to control which apps get installed. If Microsoft can realize its open ideal of a store that lists every Windows app, it will be a huge win for all Windows users.

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