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New skins in Windows 11 won't suddenly let me use the Microsoft Store

New skins in Windows 11 won’t suddenly let me use the Microsoft Store

New skins in Windows 11 won’t suddenly let me use the Microsoft Store

I like Windows. I like Windows very much. It’s not perfect, and there have been some OS releases over the years, but it’s the best we’ve had. Computer games can use it. OK, most Just use it. Hardware is fun. again, most. It’s pretty much the universal standard you can get, and from what I’ve seen with Windows 11, there’s a lot to like about where Microsoft is headed.

With one exception: the Microsoft Store.

The World of Wonders will get a brand new interface in Windows 11 with just a click of a mouse. It will also be updated for Windows 10, so don’t worry you won’t miss it. Fresh paint. New curation. A safer playground to explore. There’s even a library of games. It will do many things and we will all live happily ever after. Or at least that’s the implied promise.

The Microsoft Store is finally getting a library feature. I can assure you that I have never purchased a Candy Crush Saga. (Image credit: Microsoft)

The problem is, if there’s any change, it’s hard for the vast majority of us to spot because we rarely use it. The Microsoft Store is largely ignored for a reason, and it has nothing to do with how it actually looks. Well, it might do a little, but not enough to suddenly change its fate. That’s because that’s not really how we get apps on PCs. They’re not phones, that’s not how Windows works, and that’s not how most of us use Windows.

Currently, if I want an app, I google it. Yes, other browsers and search engines are available – for example, our own Dave James swears by Microsoft Edge – but I’ll install my trusty Chrome, type what I’m looking for, and find my way to the developer’s site . I might end up in some kind of file repository where I’m bombarded with ads and have to be careful what I click on, but I’ve done this for years enough to manage it without too much trouble.

And I know a lot of people who aren’t that careful about what they click on, their machines are full of digital garbage they don’t need, and they don’t realize they’re downloading in the first place. I haven’t even mentioned viruses or malware, but we all know that’s where it’s going. There are some bad guys out there, bad file hosting services, nothing is free, etc.

Most of the time, searching for anything still yields a bunch of confusing crap. (Image credit: Microsoft)

But Microsoft making its storefront the single source of everything isn’t the answer either. The road leads to a walled garden, and if that’s what you want, you could have bought an Apple Mac a few years ago and saved yourself a lot of trouble. Of course it’s paid through the nose, but you know, time is money and so on. Those turtle necks don’t buy themselves.

But I’m not here to be mad at Apple, I’ll save it for next time. No, it’s Microsoft looking around at all these apps its OS supports and wondering how it can get a piece of the pie. The thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever sat down in my life and thought, you know what, I’m going to take a good look at the Microsoft Store and see what interesting apps I can find today.

Has anyone done this before? Ever wonder what interesting utilities or apps might be waiting to be discovered? honestly?

No, with the application, you have a problem, you have something you are trying to do. You’ll do some research, maybe ask a friend, and find the best app for the task. Then you’ll go around and download it, or maybe even buy it. At no point do you think, ‘Oh, I just look at the Microsoft Store to see if they have anything.

The interface still needs some work to make the most of the space provided. (Image credit: Microsoft)

I often turn our tired eyes to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, eager to see something new and interesting. The same goes for games, though in all of these respects personal recommendations tend to be the way forward, rather than some AI-driven algorithm that usually turns out to be pretty bad – if you haven’t seen Tomorrow Wars, Well I might suggest doing yourself a favor and skip that.

To be fair, the new store will shift the focus more to entertainment and gaming, which makes sense since we’re more likely to put cash on bad rom-coms than on financing apps, But what comes next is going head-to-head with the likes of Netflix, Prime, and Steam. good luck.

The Xbox app provides a more traditional interface to browse available games. (Image credit: Microsoft)

If you’re convinced that Microsoft is the future here, you need to ask yourself a simple question: How many full-priced games have you previously purchased in the Microsoft Store? And, assuming I know the answer, what do you think will change when Microsoft puts this fresh paint on its store? Recommendations are spot on, even though the content is well curated, would you really click that shopping bag icon before checking Steam first?

I love Windows, I love the direction it’s going, but I doubt I’ll open the Microsoft Store on purpose just to see if there’s anything worth lurking there.

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Wilbert Wood
Games, music, TV shows, movies and everything else.