Windows 11 beta improves Microsoft Store - but is it enough?

Windows 11 showing Microsoft Store
(Image credit: Shutterstock - Gorodenkoff / Microsoft)

Microsoft has released Windows 11 for Beta Channel users in the Insider Build, which also brings refinements to the redesigned Microsoft Store.

The store has been a big talking point since it was announced back in June, with Microsoft positioning it as a one-stop store of apps not just for Windows, but also for Amazon Android apps too.

There’s already been apps from the likes of Zoom and OBS Studio already appearing on the store before Windows 11 is out, but the store is already a welcome improvement from the Windows Store we’ve had ever since it appeared on Windows 8.

With Insider builds being released almost every fortnight with small improvements here and there, the Microsoft Store is also being refined to make sure it can cater to many users once its doors officially open.

What’s been improved?

Version 22107.1401.6.0 is now rolling out to Insider users on the Dev Channel, which brings a new interface for when you want to leave a star rating and a more detailed review, alongside a better notification when installing an app from the store, and various performance improvements.

Principal Architect of the Microsoft Store, Rudy Huyn made sure to highlight these updates on Twitter:

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There’s most likely going to be more refinements and improvements as we head into the official release of Windows 11, especially with Android apps from Amazon yet to make their appearance in the Insider Builds.

Analysis: A shopping mall in the making

We get the impression that Microsoft are all too aware that its first try at a Windows Store could have been better, which is why this new Microsoft Store looks to solve past issues while making it appealing to a wide range of users once Windows 11 arrives.

Nowadays when you set up a device, whether that’s a tablet or a laptop, there’s most likely a link to where you can download software right away. From the App Store to the Google Play store, there’s always a market to access in a few clicks.

This is where there’s a big opportunity for Microsoft to make it even easier for casual PC users to download and update their apps without having to search for them in a web browser. Developers can earn a share through the store, while new users can be given confidence that they’re downloading apps through a store that’s designed and approved by Microsoft, without worrying about the security implications.

These improvements in recent Windows 11 builds, however small, make a big difference to how the casual user will judge the new Store, and whether it will be a permanent shortcut on their desktop. At present though, it’s on a positive trajectory, and it will be an interesting time to see how Android apps will fare on Windows 11 once they’re made available.

Via Windows Latest

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.