At Build 2022, Microsoft announced improvements for both users and developers for the redesigned Store in Windows 11, bringing a bunch of long-requested features.
While the company goes into how Store Ads will help developers on its blog (opens in new tab), there's other, more substantial features that are going to be appealing to users. Selecting 'Restore All' will download all the apps that were previously on your PC. Search is finally seeing improvements, with the top result showing a link to the app, not to a website.
There were also some benefits for developers that were announced, such as showing certain apps to a select audience for testing purposes, allowing more Windows app categories to be on the Store, and being given the ability to respond to user reviews for their apps.
All of these improvements are a great second step for the Store, since its debut with Windows 11 back in October 2021. However, there's still more work to be done, to mirror Apple's efforts with the App Store.
Analysis: Android could be Microsoft's real test for its Store
There's no debate to be had when you hear that Apple's App Store redefined how you could download and purchase an app from your device. It's a fact, and it's a method that's been mirrored by Google, Samsung, Huawei, and Microsoft.
Yet Windows 11's Microsoft Store has something that can set it apart from the others, which is Android apps. Since the preview is about to expand to five other countries, being able to use these new features, such as redownloading your Android apps and much better ways to search for other apps to use on your device, there's great potential to be had for Windows users.
While we're yet to hear when Sun Valley 2, the first major update to Windows 11, will land, it would be good to see these updates to the Microsoft Store land now, especially with Apple's WWDC conference due to start on June 6 with expected software announcements.
Regardless, these updates are encouraging to both users and developers, and further gets rid of the bad taste that the previous Store brought in Windows 8 with its broken links and spam apps.