Win32 desktop programs in the Microsoft Store not updatable

Software Update

Is that a word? Updatable? Apparently, it is. Also, apparently, the Win32 desktop apps published in the new and refreshed Microsoft Store are not. At least according to Microsoft.

The software titan has lately been hyping up its rewritten Microsoft Store, which has now been optimized for all developers. The native apps repository in Windows 11 will allow applications built on almost any framework.

Win32, .NET, UWP, Java, Electron, PWAs, you name them.

And, in fact, there has been a sustained arrival of a bunch of new applications to the Microsoft Store, including solutions like Acrobat to Zoom.

For those traditional desktop programs that we all know and love, Microsoft will let developers submit their unpackaged applications in the Microsoft Store. Programs that use custom content delivery networks for hosting and updates are also allowed — but with a catch.

As Redmond notes in the App Developer Agreement that comes into force this week:

“Updates to Apps are not required to be submitted through the Store. End users will not be able to receive updates from the Store. Apps can be updated directly by You via your App that is installed on a Windows Device after download from the Store.”

This was further confirmed by Rudy Hyun of Microsoft, who said that the software titan wants to be very transparent about the apps that are listed in the Microsoft Store. If an app is an installer and it cannot be updated via the Store, then it will see this text below the name of the application:

Microsoft Store Message

Bit of a bummer, this.

Microsoft washing its hands of the update process for these programs takes away the biggest advantage of this type of software getting a listing on the new Microsoft Store. An app store is the way to go to not only discover and install new apps and games, but also to keep them updated.

Downloading Win32 apps from the Microsoft Store, only so that they can be updated directly via the developer takes away a major part of the experience.

Your thoughts on this?