Back in June, Microsoft updated its digital storefront policies to open it to more types of apps and allow the distribution of web browsers that utilize their own engines instead of relying on the OS' web platform. This resulted in Opera and Yandex Browser making their way to the Microsoft Store on Windows 11 in September. Today, Mozilla has announced that it is bringing Firefox to the storefront as well.
Mozilla has touted that Firefox is the first "major" browser to make its way to the Microsoft Store, and it's the only independent browser that uses its own engine, called Gecko, rather than relying on Chromium, which is being used by all other competitors on the storefront right now.
Mozilla has noted that previously, Microsoft enforced that browsers should only use the engine being made available through the OS, which meant that Mozilla could not ship Firefox with Gecko, and had a lesser degree of control over what it could offer. The only option was to download Firefox manually from the web and then set it as your default browser, something that it has described as a "clunky process from Microsoft". The new policies ensure that Mozilla can ship with Gecko, which means that users can leverage from the following features, among many others:
- Strong privacy protections with Total Cookie Protection, Enhanced Tracking Protection, and DNS over HTTPS
- Lightning fast site loading and display using WebRender and Quantum CSS
- Discovering more of the web quicker and smarter with Firefox Suggest
- Taking control of your entertainment with Multi Picture in Picture
- Personalizing your experience with seasonal Colorways
Interestingly, in the press release to Neowin, Mozilla has highlighted that Firefox will be available in the Microsoft Store for both Windows 10 and Windows 11, which is a bit odd considering that it's the Windows 11 storefront which currently accepts all kinds of apps regardless of their packaging technologies. This is why Yandex Browser and Opera are only available on the Microsoft Store for Windows 11 right now, not Windows 10. The change is coming to Windows 10 as well but that is not something that has happened yet.
Since we have not received the URL to a store listing yet, we are unable to validate Mozilla's claim. We have reached out to the company for more information and will update when it responds. Firefox is indeed available via the Microsoft Store for both Windows 10 and Windows 11, and you can download it from here.