Microsoft's Windows 11 announcement brings Android app surprise to desktop

App developers will also have the opportunity to keep all revenue raised - unlike with Apple or Google.
App developers will also have the opportunity to keep all revenue raised Photo credit: Supplied

After weeks of rumours and leaks, Microsoft finally unveiled the latest version of its operating system on Friday morning.

And while the screenshots of Windows 11 that circulated gave an accurate glimpse of the look and feel of the new software, there were still some surprises in the official announcement.

The biggest of those may have been the redevelopment of the newly-renamed Microsoft Store and, in particular, the addition of Android apps to it.

The partnership with Amazon and use of Intel's Bridge technology means shoppers will be able to search for apps in Windows and then buy them via Amazon's Appstore.

It means Windows users will be able to access their favourite Android-based games and apps on the desktop, while opening up the opportunity for app developers to reach those who have a computer but no Android devices.

The move makes strategic sense for the tech giant after competitor Apple's move to using its own M1 chip opens up the opportunity for iOS apps to work seamlessly on macOS devices.

Another point of difference was the announcement app developers will be able to keep all of the revenue generated depending on payment method, Panos Panay the chief product officer for Windows and devices said.

"We are taking steps to further open the Microsoft Store to unlock greater economic opportunity for creators and developers.

"We're also announcing a progressive change to our revenue share policies where app developers can now bring their own commerce into our Store and keep 100 percent of the revenue - Microsoft takes nothing," he said.

A look at the new Microsoft Store
Photo credit: Supplied

Apple is facing a September court date in France over alleged abusive contractual terms imposed on those wanting to sell software on its App Store.

There developers are charged a flat commission of 15 percent on the first US$1 million of revenue, with the total rising to 30 percent for sales above that level. Google, the developers of Android, charges the same level of commission for purchases via its Play system.

The commission levels, combined with the inability to use an alternative payment system on Apple's App Store, was one of the reasons Epic Games, developer of Fortnite, took legal action against the company.

If Windows developers aren't able to provide their own commerce platform for monetisation, they will be charged a flat commission of 15 percent Giorgio Sardo, general manager, Microsoft Store said.

Microsoft also announced partnerships with Disney and Adobe to provide Disney+ and Creative Cloud software respectively through the store.