Microsoft is planning to shut down the Windows 10 Microsoft Store for Business and Store for Education, according to a new report from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. If the regular Microsoft Store on Windows 10 PCs is a digital storefront where users can download apps, games, movies & TV shows, the Store for Business and Store for Education were dedicated to the distribution and management of apps in an organization or school.
As Windows 10 remains an open platform, many app developers are continuing to ignore the Microsoft Store and keep distributing their apps independently. Microsoft managed to get big developers like Apple, Facebook, Adobe, or Spotify to embrace the Microsoft Store recently, but there’s still a long way to go before the Microsoft Store becomes the best way to install apps on a Windows 10 PC.
As Foley noted, the last update on a support page for the Store for Business and Education was published in October 2018, with the addition of Private store apps. If the disinterest is quite obvious, Microsoft has yet to comment on the sunsetting of the Store for Business and Store for Education. However, Foley reports that it could happen at the end of this fiscal year:
It does sound as though the team that owns the digital stores has decided that the Store for Business and Store for Education definitely will be deprecated. I've heard talk that the end of the current fiscal year, meaning June 30, 2020, is currently the planned deprecation deadline, though I am not sure if is the intended date for informing customers or date for actually axing the Store for Business/Store for Education. (My guess is Microsoft will give business and education users more than a few months' notice.)
Interestingly, Foley also heard that Microsoft officials have been debating internally about a new “concerted strategy" for the company's digital storefront. "That strategy does not call for Microsoft to drop the Web version of the Microsoft Store. I'm not sure what will happen to the Microsoft Store client that's built into Windows 10 right now; my contacts say its future is "uncertain" at this point,” Foley said.
The Microsoft Store remains one of the most important inbox apps on Windows 10, and it's also being used to update other inbox apps such as Windows 10 Mail and Calendar, Skype, or Sticky Notes. The Store should also play a big role on the upcoming Windows 10X OS from Microsoft, and the company has already invited developers to update their Store apps for the new dual-screen devices that will ship later this year. The Microsoft Store could certainly be improved in many ways, but it would be surprising to see it go away anytime soon.