Microsoft Finally Opens Its Windows Store To Desktop Apps Addition

The Microsoft Windows Store will now be universal as it will already sell desktops apps, according to the company.

Next to the launch of Windows 8 in 2012, Microsoft's Windows Store was also released to distribute Universal Windows Platform Apps, first with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 and later with Windows Phone Store, Xbox Video and Xbox Music in 2015. The way Microsoft Store works is changing this week as third party developers can now distribute their desktop apps to people shopping through the Microsoft App Store.

The apps goes through Microsoft's Desktop App Converter (announced at Build 2015, codename Project Centennial) to make them compatible with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) format and work well with Windows-based desktops or laptops. Converted Win32 programs will then be made available to all Windows 10 devices, and the Xbox One and Windows 10 Phone are no exceptions.

Evernote is one of the launch apps that previously had a Windows Store app. Although it didn't have all of the Win32 desktop app features, it had been a way for the developer to create an app version that will work better on Windows 10 without having to rewrite it entirely.

"We're excited to bring our full-featured Evernote app to the Windows Store," Evernote VP Seth Hitchings said in a press release. "The Desktop Bridge vastly simplifies our installer and uninstaller."

Arduino IDE, Double Twist, PhotoScape, MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, Virtual Robotics Kit, Relab, SQL Pro, Voya Media, Predicted Desire and korAccount are other apps that are now available this week, and more apps are expected to come to the Windows Store in the coming months.

The drawback to these converted applications is that they are not universal. These apps are said to run only on desktop Windows systems with x86 processors. How this affects UWP's progress isn't clear yet.

During the release of the Project Centennial, Microsoft executives confirmed that there were 16 million Win32 apps already out on the market, marking a major expansion of what the Universal Windows Platform can offer.

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