Microsoft: Steam and Epic would be 'very welcome' in the Windows 11 app store

Its demand for a cut of game sales might prevent that from happening.


Microsoft isn't just interested in putting Amazon's Appstore in Windows 11. OS chief Panos Panay told The Verge in an interview that Microsoft wants other third-party app stores, such as Steam and the Epic Games Store, inside its own portal. The company's new policies (such as letting developers keep all of the revenue from third-party platforms) were designed with alternative shops in mind, Panay said, adding that these stores would be "very welcome."

The aim is to make the Windows 11 store a go-to source for apps. "You type the app in and you get the app you want," Panay said.

The tech giant's own policies might get in the way, however. The Windows 11 app store's no-fee policy doesn't apply to games, and it's doubtful that Valve or Epic would let Microsoft take a cut on top of their own charges. Microsoft would need to either clarify its policies or make exceptions for Steam and the EGS to show up. And that's assuming either third party is comfortable with the idea — Valve's Gabe Newell hasn't exactly been kind to Microsoft, and Epic's Tim Sweeney has had his own reservations. Any store expansions would likely require establishing trust.

If Microsoft does succeed, though, it could boost the profile of the Windows 11 app store and reinforce Windows' dominance in computer gaming. You might still have to install Steam and Epic apps, but you wouldn't have to run a bevy of launchers and other clients just to find a favorite title. That's unlikely to change for Linux and Mac users any time soon, no matter how much game creators embrace either platform.