A few hours ago, Microsoft took the wraps off Windows 11, revealing the minimum system requirements for consumers and device manufacturers. You can read our detailed coverage on the topic here. Another major announcement Microsoft made was around the Microsoft Store supporting Android apps via an integration with the Amazon App Store. However, that's only one of the many improvements the company is making to its app distribution platform.
The redesigned Microsoft Store, which is coming to both Windows 10 and Windows 11, will include curated stories and collections to keep you updated on the latest current and upcoming releases. Another major productivity-focused feature coming to the Store includes a more streamlined approach to installing apps from the web. If you locate an app on the Microsoft Store through your web browser and click on the download button, a "pop-up store" will allow you to directly manage the install without redirecting you to the Microsoft Store app. This is different to what currently happens where you get a pop-up telling you to open the Microsoft Store app, interrupting your workflow.
There are a bunch of developer-focused enhancements coming to the Microsoft Store as well. From today, Windows developers can publish any app to the Microsoft Store regardless of the technology framework and the packaging mechanism.
While Microsoft already offers a competitive 85/15 and 88/12 revenue splits for apps and games respectively in the Microsoft Store, the company is making one major change. Starting July 28, developers are allowed to use their own or third-party payment mechanisms without having to pay Microsoft a dime. However, this only applies to apps, and not games, as reported by The Verge.
This is in stark contrast to Google and Apple which do not support third-party payment mechanisms at all and force developers to adopt the native billing system, essentially allowing them to take a 15% or 30% cut depending upon how much money your app is generating. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is well aware of the edge it is offering to developers with this latest change, excerpts from his closing speech yesterday have been posted to his Twitter account and are as follows:
Throughout its history, Windows has been a democratizing force for the world. Windows has always stood for sovereignty for creators and agency for consumers. With Windows 11, we have a renewed sense of Windows’ role in the world. As I look ahead, I see three clear opportunities.
First, Windows recognizes that there is no personal computing without personal agency. We need to be empowered to choose the applications we run, the content we consume, the people we connect to, and even how we allocate our own attention. Operating systems and devices should mold to our needs, not the other way around.
Second, Windows is the stage for the world’s creation. As a creator, every time you pick up a Windows device, it becomes a stage for your inspiration, so you can dream big and create something profound and lasting. We want to empower you to produce and inspire you to create.
And finally, Windows isn’t just an operating system; it’s a platform for platform creators. Windows is a platform where things that are bigger than Windows can be born, like the web. A platform can only serve society if its rules allow for this foundational innovation and category creation. This is the first version of a new era of Windows.
Microsoft plans to release the first Windows 11 build to Insiders next week, and we'll likely find out more about the company's visual redesign of the Store as well as new capabilities then.