The Microsoft Store is the main app store on Windows 10 and 11, and it received an overhaul last year in time for the first version of Windows 11. Now even more improvements are on the way.
Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25131, aimed at people who want to test the latest improvements to Windows before they are bug-free. The build has a few new features for the Microsoft Store that are worth getting excited about, especially as more apps start to arrive on the Store.
First, the Microsoft Store is now native on ARM Windows PCs, so everything will be faster on devices like the Surface Pro X and Lenovo Yoga C630. It’s a bit shocking that the Store wasn’t already properly updated for ARM, considering Windows 10 (and now 11) has been available on ARM PCs for over four years, but at least it’s finally happening. Microsoft has also generally improved navigation speed for the Store on all computers, not just ARM PCs.
Automatic app updates are also being improved. Microsoft said in a blog post, “We’ll skip over apps that you have open, so you don’t lose any important work. You can update the apps later in the Microsoft Store.” Again, it’s a bit surprising that wasn’t already implemented, but even the Google Play Store on Android occasionally tries to update an app while you’re using it.
Finally, Microsoft is trying to remind people you can install some Android apps on Windows. “When you’re browsing the web,” the company said, “you might discover a new app. If it’s available in the Microsoft Store, we’ll show you a pop-up experience to help you install it.” It’s not clear what the pop-up looks like.
Several other changes were announced for the Microsoft Store last month, including the ability for any developer to submit Win32 applications, and Android apps coming to more countries. It was also revealed that advertisements are coming to the Store, similar to the ads seen in the Google Play Store on Android and Apple App Store on iPhone and iPad.
The new features are still exclusive to the Windows Insider channel, but once all the bugs are worked out, Microsoft should roll them out to all Windows 11 devices. It’s not clear if any of the new features will be rolled out to the Microsoft Store on Windows 10.