Future of Microsoft Store uncertain with UWP dead in the water
The Microsoft Store was initially launched as the Windows Store with Windows 8 back in 2012. Microsoft’s intention was to distribute apps that work on both PC and phone devices, and thus the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) was created. With the release of Windows 10, however, Microsoft decided to merge all of its digital stores, including the Windows Store into the all-inclusive Microsoft Store, which now sells digital videos, digital music, console games and e-books in addition to the UWP apps. Meanwhile Microsoft abandoned the support for its Windows Phone devices, and it looks like the company could soon discontinue support for all UWP apps.
According to notorious Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott, the UWP is almost certain to be abandoned sooner rather than later, and the Microsoft Store itself may be in peril as a direct consequence. The UWP essentially became redundant when the Windows Phone business was discontinued, and this is somewhat reflected in the stagnant number of apps available through the Microsoft Store. Microsoft did try to incentivize developers to create new apps using standard win32 code and the Progressive Web Application container, but this did not really change the situation.
Microsoft’s Store app portfolio pales in comparison to what Apple’s App Store or Google Play have to offer. Thurrott notes that the Microsoft Store itself will probably not die, as it is used to sell games for Windows and Xbox, plus the video and audio sales are not doing bad either, so we could see a rigorous reorganization or maybe even another rebranding for the store in the foreseeable future.