It’s been almost a decade since Microsoft debuted its app store on Windows 8. The goal behind any app store is obviously to be a place where you can safely find all the apps you want, and that’s a goal that Microsoft does not have. ‘ not been able to achieve. In fact, the situation has been so bad that the Redmond company has not even managed to get it Its own apps in their own store.
That’s changing with Windows 11. Today, the company announced that you can get Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio Community from the Microsoft Store on your next-generation operating system.
Hi all! Welcome @VisualStudio Community 2019 * and * Visual Studio @code to the new Windows Store! Both FREE and available for Windows Insiders right now! Interested in publishing your Win32 app? Check out https://t.co/HUDLwIJzY1 pic.twitter.com/MifCbd6hzt
– Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) August 25, 2021
The big change with the Microsoft Store in Windows 11 is that anyone can put any app running on Windows in the store. It has actually taken almost a decade to get to this point.
Back in the Windows 8 days, you had a brand new app to get it in the Windows Store. With Windows 8.1, the company debuted the so-called universal apps, which were actually separate user interfaces for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, but with a shared code base.
Microsoft quickly realized that this was a terrible plan. No one wrote about their apps to get on an immature platform like the Windows Store on Windows 8, and it did not look like Windows 8 and the full screen environment were going to take off in any meaningful way.
This is where Windows 10 came in. Microsoft debuted the Universal Windows platform, which allowed developers to create an app with a responsive user interface for all Windows devices. But that was not all, because the Redmond company no longer asked you to rebuild your app completely.
It introduced four bridges, three of which were actually sent. Project Islandwood was a way to recompile existing iOS code to create a Windows app. With Project Westminster you can pack a web app, and Project Astoria – the one that was never shipped – lets you run Android apps on Windows. More important was Project Centennial, which allowed developers to unpack their Win32 apps and put them in the Microsoft Store; in fact, you no longer need to write a new app.
But it was still not enough. It was not even enough for Microsoft to have its own apps in the store. It left Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) in there for a short while and finally pulled out the suite of apps. Now with Windows 11, you can set some app in the Microsoft Store, and it does not even need to be packaged.
In short, the fact that Visual Studio is finally in the Microsoft Store is a big deal. This is something that has been under development for a decade, and it represents that more complicated apps can be distributed on the platform.
As mentioned earlier, the apps offered are both Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio Community. The latter is the full version of Visual Studio, and they are both free.