Microsoft’s surprise change to Windows 11 is a much more open approach to its Windows store, and that could mean we’ll see Steam games listed in the future. This new open approach brings many changes to the Windows app store, including connecting Microsoft to Amazon’s Appstore to list Android apps and allowing developers to keep 100% of their revenue using payment platforms. third parties. Microsoft also wants other alternative app stores like Steam and the Epic Games Store to be a part of this new Windows app store.
“Windows already hosts these stores in many ways, and if we can host it through the Microsoft Store, then of course,” says Windows and Devices chief Panos Panay, in an interview with The edge. “Of course, that means that since others want to come to the store, they are welcome. In fact, encouraged, and that’s kind of the reason we are making some of these policies.
Steam has grown into a huge store of games and apps on Windows over the years, and Panay envisions a future for the Windows app store where people find the apps they want independent of competing stores. “I really want that experience where you go to the store, you type in the app and you get the app you want,” says Panay.
As Microsoft embraces the idea of an open store, there are a few caveats. Microsoft will allow developers to keep 100% of app revenue if they use alternative payment platforms, but this does not apply to games. It’s a big omission, which comes just weeks after Microsoft announced it would cut its gaming revenue cut in the Microsoft Store by 30% to 12% starting August 1.
It’s also unclear how this policy might apply to separate app stores. Microsoft just seems to list Android apps from Amazon’s Appstore in its own store, so it is effectively linked to another store. If Steam were to be integrated with the Windows app store, it would likely be via a similar linking scenario, which prevents apps and games from being directly hosted in Microsoft’s app store.
It would still be an improvement over what exists on Windows 10 today. If you’re setting up a new machine, you’ll need to search the web for installers, grab only some of the apps available from Microsoft’s Windows store, or use a third-party package manager to manage which apps to install. If Microsoft can fulfill its open dream of a store with all Windows apps listed, it will be of great benefit to every Windows user.