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PC World Latest NewsMay 24, 2022
Big changes to the Microsoft Store could make Windows better, or a lot worse

Microsoft said Tuesday at its Microsoft Build 2022 conference that the Microsoft Store is "open to all," meaning that it has removed a waitlist program for Win32 apps. The store is now open to all app developers. Microsoft also announced an ad program, Microsoft Store Ads, which will allow developers to create ad campaigns to promote their apps within the Store app. Microsoft will also begin testing a "restore" feature that will automatically load apps that Windows users own when setting up a new device.

It's true that the Microsoft Store on Windows represents one of the improvements Windows 11 offers versus Windows 10. It's detailed and well-organized, with comprehensive features that range from ratings to a recommendation for whether the app will run on your PC. Developers have apparently responded. In the first three months of 2022, Microsoft says, there was a more than 50 percent increase in new desktop apps and games added to the Store, versus the same period last year. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn't said exactly how many apps those numbers represent. (It's slightly less hazy on the total userbase of Windows 10 and 11: A combined 1.4 billion people.)

We have a better idea of how many apps Microsoft's competitors offer. AppBrain estimates that there are

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