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Windows 11 to welcome Steam and Epic stores in another broadside at Apple

Microsoft is pitching the new Windows 11 app store as a platform agnostic marketplace that’ll welcome even the firm’s biggest rivals – and not just Android apps.

After Satya Nadella admitted Apple’s iMessage would have a place on the Windows Store if Cupertino so desired, Microsoft now says the Steam and Epic Games stores could join the fray.

Despite games being a major part of the company’s Windows Store offerings, Microsoft’s Windows and device chief Panos Panay told The Verge other game stores would be welcomed with open arms.

Given Microsoft already offers access to the Steam and Epic stores through web browsers, the firm might as well welcome the stores into the fold. That way, users can just use the Windows Store as a one-stop shop for everything they need, regardless of where it comes from.

“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.”

He added: “I really want this experience where you go to the store, you type the app in and you get the app you want.”

Microsoft surprised everyone by announcing Android apps will be available on Windows 11, via the Amazon appstore, enabling developers to keep 100% of proceeds from app sales.

All of this sounds very much like Microsoft is positioning itself as the anti-Apple by welcoming all and sundry to operate on the platform without adhering to such restrictive platform rules.

Just yesterday, Satya Nadella said: “We have the ability to have multiple marketplaces. We want to have a great marketplace, but we also welcome other marketplaces.”

Given Microsoft was once the poster child for antitrust investigations, this is quite the turnaround. What next? PlayStation games on the Windows Store?

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