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Microsoft Store (formerly Windows Store) is a digital distribution platform developed by Microsoft as part of Windows 8, 8.1, 10, and 11 for apps in Metro along with music and video, starting with Windows 10.[1] Android apps are discoverable for Windows 11.[2] The Windows Store also allows developers to advertise their Win32 or traditional desktop applications. It supports both free and paid apps, with the paid apps ranging from $1.49 to $999.99. Developers are able to offer free trials.

Development history

On September 13, 2011, the first day of the Build Conference, Microsoft's Windows President Steven Sinofsky announced the Windows Store app and demonstrated the features of a developer preview of the store.[3] The Windows Store became available concurrently with the release of the Windows 8 Beta in February 2012.[4] Windows 10 build 9926 offered a new Store Beta next to the Windows 8.1 Store, the only difference being that the Store Beta offered beta tests from Microsoft and showed apps from Windows Phone. Media Content was added to build 10041. Support for the downloading of Android apps for Windows 11 requires the Windows Subsystem for Android, which became available for testing through the Windows Insider Program on October 20, 2021.[5]

Business model

The Microsoft Store under Windows 10.

The Windows Store became the only means of distributing Metro-style apps to users; the official reason is to allow Microsoft to scan apps for security flaws and malware.[6] The Windows Store took a 30% cut of application sales. Once an application reaches $25,000 USD in revenue, the cut drops to 20%. In-app third-party transactions are also allowed, of which Microsoft does not take a cut. Individual developers will be able to register for $49 USD and $99 USD for companies.[7] On June 24, 2021, Microsoft announced that they would reduce their cut to 15%, which would be dropped to zero if a company brought its own payment system.[8] This special deal does not extend to games, which would be subject to a 12% fee through Microsoft’s payment platform.[9][10]


Similar to the Windows Phone Marketplace, the Windows Store is regulated by Microsoft. Applications must be approved by Microsoft before becoming available in the store. Disallowed types of applications revealed by Microsoft (for Developer Preview) include [11]:

  • Apps that contain adult content
  • Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE 17, or that contain content that would warrant such a rating
  • Apps that advocate discrimination, hatred, or violence based on membership in a particular racial, ethnic, national, linguistic, religious, or other social groups, or based on a person’s gender, age, or sexual orientation
  • Apps that contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes illegal activity
  • Apps that contain or display content that a reasonable person would consider being obscene
  • Apps that are Defamatory, libelous or slanderous, or threatening
  • Apps that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes excessive or irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs or weapons
  • Apps that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes extreme or gratuitous violence, human rights violations, or the creation or use of weapons against a person or animal in the real world
  • Apps that contain excessive or gratuitous profanity



  1. Marius Oiaga (2011-10-06). "Get Insight into the Windows Store in Windows 8". Softpedia. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  2. Building a new, open Microsoft Store on Windows 11 by Giorgio Sardo, Microsoft. 2021-06-24.
  3. Dana Wollman (2011-09-16). "Windows 8 on a laptop in-depth preview (video)". engadget. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  4. Bright, Peter. "Win 8 app store revealed: more money for devs, beta in late February". Ars Technica. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  5. Introducing Android Apps on Windows 11 to Windows Insiders by Aidan Marcuss and Giorgio Sardo, Microsoft. 2021-10-20.
  6. Tom, Warren. "Microsoft details and demos the Windows Store for Windows 8". Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  7. Leblond, Antoine. "Previewing the Windows Store". Windows Store for developers. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  8. Microsoft reveals the new Microsoft Store for Windows 11, and it has Android apps, too by Sean Hollister, The Verge. 2011-06-24.
  9. Microsoft reveals the new Microsoft Store for Windows 11, and it has Android apps, too by Sean Hollister, The Verge. 2011-06-24.
  10. Microsoft will let devs keep every penny their Windows app makes — unless it’s a game by Jay Peters, The Verge. 2021-06-24.
  11. name="Certification requirements for Windows apps">"Certification requirements for Windows apps". 6 January 2012. 

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