App stores are a hot topic these days as the big guys are reportedly using their position to monopolize the mobile app market. In a sense, Microsoft has the opposite problem. It cannot even be accused of a monopoly, as the Microsoft Store app marketplace is not exactly teeming with exclusive offers and developers can always move their apps elsewhere. For Windows 11, Microsoft is working to trick even its rivals into putting their wares on its store, even if that means hosting third-party app stores that cannot be taxed.
Microsoft has announced changes to its Microsoft Store platform to encourage anyone and everyone to populate the city, perhaps even to the point where there is very little quality control. From slashing the cut in sales to approving third-party payment systems, Microsoft is doing everything it can to prove that it is not like Apple or Google in this regard. And what better way to show that than naming big rivals who are now calling the Microsoft Store their alternative home.
The Epic Games Store is coming to the Microsoft Store and will be findable via search, which almost sounds like a blow to Apple. Not only does this prove that Microsoft is open to other storefronts in its store, but it is also a way of reaffirming its openness to third-party trading platforms, also known as payment systems. That’s pretty much the biggest complaint Epic Games had with Apple that led to the high profile lawsuit, and their presence in the Microsoft Store speaks volumes.
Microsoft also welcomes Opera and Yandex browsers, which is a more subtle blow to Apple and even Google. The latter two mobile platforms only allow competing web browsers in their app stores if they are using their sanctioned browser engine. Oddly enough, Google Chrome is still missing after being removed from the store in 2017 under the “old” Microsoft Store guidelines.
Microsoft has a laundry list of new apps that are now in its store, both desktop apps like LibreOffice and progressive web apps (PWAs) like TikTok. It also reminds Windows users that Amazon’s Android Appstore will soon land there too, although there are still many unanswered questions about its implementation and performance.