Microsoft CEO Teases ‘Next Generation’ Windows Update

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Microsoft’s Build conference is happening this week, but the company isn’t going to talk about its big Windows revamp. It is happening, though. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella teased what will allegedly be the biggest update to Windows in years. According to The Verge, Nadella promises that the “next generation” of Windows will improve the OS and create new opportunities for developers. 

Build is a conference for developers (developers developers), so Nadella made several mentions of the rumored changes to the Windows app store while teasing the new Windows: 

Soon we will share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators. I’ve been self-hosting it over the past several months, and I’m incredibly excited about the next generation of Windows. Our promise to you is this: We will create more opportunity for every Windows developer today and welcome every creator who is looking for the most innovative, new, open platform to build and distribute and monetize applications. We look forward to sharing more very soon.

Microsoft’s vision for the Microsoft Store has changed significantly over the years. The version currently shipping in Windows 10 contains content from the old Windows Marketplace, Windows Phone Store, Xbox Video, and Xbox Music stores. Despite that, the selection of software is abysmal, even after Microsoft started allowing regular Win32 games in the store. The expected redesign will “create more opportunity for developers.” 

Currently, the store requires developers to package Win32 apps as an MSIX and use Microsoft’s update and payment platforms. The new store may allow developers to upload EXE or MSI packages that don’t use Microsoft’s services, which will pave the way for a larger software library in the store. Microsoft also takes a 5-15 percent cut of sales right now, but Microsoft appears to be learning its lesson from the Apple-Epic shenanigans. The option to use third-party payment platforms would allow the Epics of the world to bypass the Microsoft commission. 

The current Microsoft Store is severely lacking in content.

Nadella’s teaser gives away very little about the rest of the upcoming Windows changes. Presumably, some features from the now-canceled Windows 10X will appear in the “next generation,” and there’s the rumored Sun Valley project to overhaul the Windows UI. It’s interesting that Nadella calls this “one of the most significant updates in the last decade,” apparently recognizing that Windows 8 happened less than 10 years ago. Microsoft pulled back from the almost total touch-focused redesign of that version after just a year. So, we can assume the upcoming changes are less drastic than the move from Windows 7 to 8 — that’s probably for the best.

Nadella promises we’ll hear more about the revamped Windows “very soon.”

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