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Microsoft opens the Windows store to .NET and Win32 apps

One of the biggest complaints about the Windows Store for desktop is that it doesn’t contain all of the software that users really need. And how could it? Until today, Microsoft required apps to be coded specifically for W10 in order to meet the requirements and be made available to users. Now, Microsoft has opened the store to software developed in the popular .NET and Win32 frameworks. That’s a bigger change than you may realize.

Since Windows 10 brought a new generation of universal apps to the Windows Store, Microsoft has pushed the marketplace as a one-stop shop for all the software you might need. From games to email applications, you should be able to download everything you need there, but most users find themselves straying elsewhere for their Web browser, or for Photoshop. Allowing new types of software in the Window Store solves the number one complaint about it so far: that there aren’t enough apps.

Related: Can Web apps boost the Windows Store? Microsoft thinks they might

The .NET framework has been around since 2002, providing a development framework for software on a huge scale. The benefits of cross-language coding, as well as the massive bank of framework libraries, make development easier for everyone from individual hobby developers all the way up to multi-million dollar game development.

Of course, when it comes to developing specifically for Windows, Win32 is one of the most prolific frameworks. Chances are, a ton of the software you use everyday is built in C++ for Win32, almost any program with a .EXE file extension.

By continuing to open up the Windows Store to new and varied types of software, Microsoft is increasing the chance that users actually download apps from it. It also allows them to be made available for a wide range of devices easily, so developers can produce apps for phones, tablets, and desktops without a lot of overhead.