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Microsoft vows to improve Windows app store with gamers in mind

It knows there's a reason you prefer Steam and other stores.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 11, 2018
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Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Many PC gamers shy away from the Microsoft Store (aka Windows Store), and for good reasons: it frequently doesn't support overlays and other commonly used features, and it's buggy compared to a platform like Steam. Thankfully, Microsoft might just feel their pain. In a talk at X018, Xbox lead Phil Spencer said he had "heard the feedback" about the store and vowed to make it "tailored to the gamers that we know want to see the best" from the company. He didn't outline what those changes were, but he promised to take a "bigger leadership role" on the store.

The statements come not long after Spencer talked about overhauling the Xbox app for Windows 10, which itself is limited. It can't directly handle game updating like Steam can, for instance.

Spencer's promise is, to some extent, a commentary on the Microsoft Store at large. Microsoft has tried to steer Windows users to the store by releasing software exclusively though the channel and even temporarily offering a version of Windows that could only run Store apps, but developers and users haven't flocked to the portal given its restrictions. Why publish a game in the Store that can't do as much as it would elsewhere? This is an acknowledgment that having an official store isn't enough -- it also has to offer capabilities that attract both developers and users.

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