Your *desktop* app in the new Microsoft Store

By | July 12, 2012

If you’ve been to any of the Windows 8 developer camps, then you probably were told all about the new Microsoft Store that’s debuted with Windows 8. And if you asked the right questions, they may have even told you that yes, even desktop apps will show up in the MS Store, not just ones written for Metro.

That’s pretty cool, but what, exactly, will that look like? In the camps I went to we were informed that instead of the full-blown install being available in the store, what you really get is a listing that links to a website where the user can go to download the listed app. Don’t quite get it? Fire up that Windows 8 install and search the store for “SkyDrive”

“wtf?” might be your first reaction, but there’s a method to this madness.

The SkyDrive Metro app (2nd in the list) is the SkyDrive app that shipped and showed up on your Windows 8 start screen.

SkyDrive Metro app

The first one in the list (notice the subtitle on it – “Desktop app”) is the SkyDrive “sync client” that has been available from MS for quite a while now, installable on any Windows 7+ machine. This thing creates a folder in your user directory, and serves as a synchronization point for all your SkyDrive content:

SkyDrive Desktop App

As a side note, these two apps are not the same thing. The Desktop app actually downloads all your SkyDrive content locally, again it is a synchronization point. The Metro app, however, is an interface directly to your SkyDrive web content, and anything you access through that needs to be downloaded first.

So now you know that if you’re (still) writing Desktop apps for one reason or another once Windows 8 goes live, you’re not screwed by having your app not show in the store. Rather, what you get is an entry to the store that will in turn direct users to a website you specify where they can download/buy & install your application.

For more information, check out the Windows Store blog on