Way back in June of this year, Microsoft unveiled the next big update for Windows — Windows 11. There was a lot to go over at the time, of course, but one of the biggest shining spots for Microsoft’s upcoming desktop OS update was a change to the Microsoft Store. The company confirmed that the digital storefront would not only allow for developers to utilize their own payment options within apps, but that it would support Android apps, too.
Now, Microsoft has decided to do one more thing differently. Ahead of the Microsoft Store’s Windows 11 update (Windows 11 is set to launch to the public on October 5), the digital storefront is now compatible with third-party stores other than Microsoft’s own. Which means apps from the Epic Games Store, Amazon Appstore, and other third-party storefronts can now be found in the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft says this change is meant to help “promote innovation,” and, also, to showcase that its business terms are “fair.”
From today’s announcement:
In that spirit, today we’re announcing another significant update to our Microsoft Store on Windows policies, which will allow third-party storefront apps to be discoverable in the Microsoft Store on Windows. Just like any other app, third-party storefront apps will have a product detail page that can be found via search or by browsing – so that users can easily find and install it with the same confidence as any other app in the Microsoft Store on Windows. Today, we are sharing that Amazon and Epic Games will bring their storefront apps to the Microsoft Store over the next few months, and we look forward to welcoming other stores as well in the future.
Epic Games has essentially been demanding Apple do this with its App Store for quite some time. It’s one of the major arguments the company has made in its legal battle recently. So Epic is probably very happy with this result from Microsoft. While Apple is going to need to make a decision regarding in-app payment options one way or another, there’s no plan for the company to adopt something like Microsoft’s effort for the App Store.
Still, for Windows users who want this level of choice, this is good news for them. Windows 11 will launch in early October.