You can finally use Windows 11’s Microsoft Store on your web browser
While you could previously access the Microsoft Store on the web, this new version has a new look and categories that mirror Windows 11’s version, which should make it easier to browse apps and download web extensions.
It features the same design that other apps in Windows 11 have seen, such as Paint and Windows Media Player, and having a familiar-looking Microsoft Store on the web makes it much easier to look for apps when you can’t reach your laptop or PC.
This also highlights the overdue need for Apple to do the same for remotely accessing the App Store via a web browser, which is an area that Apple struggles to compete with compared to Microsoft and Google.
Analysis: Another good move from Microsoft – now it’s Apple’s turn
Going through the Microsoft Store on a MacBook via Safari is a simple affair – you can search and browse the categories that are on a sidebar to the left, and when you select an app, you can view its description, user reviews, and even see some screenshots.
It’s another effort from Microsoft that deserves praise, especially due to how a previous version of the Microsoft Store was riddled with spam apps and a search bar that couldn’t actually search.
While it would be welcome to be able to remotely download apps from this web version (as Google allows with the Google Play Store), it’s a good start regardless, and also shows how Apple could take some pointers from Microsoft for its own App Store.
Take this TikTok app page on the App Store for example. While it mimics the App Store when you browse it on an iPhone or iPad, there’s no way of going to the homepage of the Store, or seeing the charts of what’s been bought and downloaded for free.
You could go to this Categories page, but it’s been abandoned for so long that it still says ‘iTunes’ at the top of the page. Considering that Apple hasn’t used the ‘iTunes’ name since 2019 with the debut of the Music app in macOS Big Sur, it’s definitely time for the page to see an update.
Being able to freely browse the App Store on a web browser could be appealing to many, especially if you can queue up a download to send to your Mac or iPhone.
But perhaps as a start, Apple should at least make it so that you can browse the App Store remotely using a web browser, and offer a similar experience to what users would have when using their Apple device.