The Microsoft Store will finally restore your pinned apps across Windows 11 devices

There’s also a slew of AI features to increase user engagement.

Screenshot of the AI hub in the Microsoft Store

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft’s Build developer event kicks off today, and with it comes a slew of announcements for app developers, but also for users. That includes a slew of new AI-powered features designed to increase user engagement with apps, but also an improved restore experience, which should make it easier for users to move to a new PC.

AI comes to the Microsoft Store in full force

As AI becomes an increasingly focal point of conversation for Microsoft, every facet of the company’s business seems to be affected by it. For the Microsoft Store, that starts with a new AI hub, which is basically a new section in the store that will highlight good AI experiences for users. This will give developers of AI-based software a new way to have their apps highlighted, while also showcasing the kinds of experiences that users can see evolve with AI, like editing photos, creating resumes, and more.

Screenshot of a Microsoft Store app page showing a review summary generated by AI based on user reviews

Source: Microsoft

On top of that, the Microsoft Store will soon be using AI to create a summary of app reviews, so as a user, you no longer have to scroll through multiple reviews to get an idea of the feelings other users have towards an app. The AI-generated review summary will try to encapsulate everything you need to know about the app. Additionally, the Microsoft Store will also use AI to generate keywords for apps, making it easier for developers to add new tags and improve discoverability for their apps.

Windows 11 will soon restore your apps in the right place

Focusing more so on the user experience, Microsoft is improving the way apps from the Microsoft Store are restored when you move to a new PC. Now available with Windows Insiders, the Microsoft Store is introducing a new capability to restore apps that you have pinned to the Start menu or taskbar, right in the same place where you had them before. This will make it much easier to pick up where you left off on your previous device and it should make moving devices much less of a pain.

Microsoft Store Ads expand

Screenshot of a Microsoft Store ad shown in the Spotlight section

Source: Microsoft

Another big piece of news for developers is the increased reach of Microsoft Store Ads. Microsoft is unlocking the ability to pay for ads in the Spotlight section of the Microsoft Store (the large carousel at the top of the home page). This is the most easily visible section of the Store, and is certainly bound to provide a lot more visibility for apps.

Microsoft Store Ads are also expanding to search results in Bing, making your app visible to users searching the web using Microsoft’s search engine.

On top of all this, Microsoft also announced today that any developer with an Amazon Appstore Developer account can now submit their apps to be available on Windows 11, expanding the reach of the Android apps to Windows users. Win32 developers can also use new certification tests to help ensure the certification process will go smoothly when an app is submitted to the Microsoft Store. Microsoft also mentioned that PWAs on the Microsoft Store can now leverage Windows Widgets and the Edge sidebar to provide new experiences. Additionally, there will soon be a Digital Goods API to allow PWAs to accept in-app purchases and make the checkout process simpler.