When Microsoft revealed Windows 11 yesterday, it also announced that it was redesigning the Microsoft Store. Microsoft very clearly wants the Microsoft Store to be the central hub for apps in Windows 11, as it revealed yesterday that it’s letting developers keep all of their revenue from in-app purchases when they use their own “commerce engines.” This push to build out the Microsoft Store doesn’t stop at individual apps, though, as Microsoft would also like to host other app and game stores.
In an interview with The Verge, Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay said that the company would love to see other stores like Steam take up residence on the Microsoft Store once Windows 11 arrives. “Windows already in many ways hosts those stores, and if we can host it through the Microsoft Store then of course,” Panay said. “For sure, it means as others want to come to the Store, they’re very welcome. As a matter of fact, encouraged, and that’s kind of why we’re building out some of these policies.”
Steam, of course, is the biggest digital storefront for PC gaming by a significant margin, so getting it on the Microsoft Store in Windows 11 could drive a lot of traffic Microsoft’s way. As The Verge notes, however, there is one big question that likely needs to be answered before Valve decides on whether or not to bring Steam to the Microsoft Store, and it’s one of revenue sharing.
While Microsoft did announce yesterday that it will let developers keep 100% of their in-app revenue when they use their own payment engines, The Verge points out that this doesn’t apply to games. Those are still subject to revenue sharing, and for now, the cut Microsoft takes sits at the industry-standard 30%. That’s dropping to 12% on August 1st, and while that’s a much more attractive cut for developers, it’s pretty much a guarantee that Valve won’t bring Steam to the Microsoft Store if it means giving the big M a cut of each game sale.
We’ll have to see what happens once Windows 11 is out in the open because it’s possible that Microsoft and Valve could strike a deal to bring Steam to the Microsoft Store. Windows 11 is launching later this year, though, at the moment, Microsoft hasn’t announced a precise release date for the new operating system.