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Windows 11 Insider build 26100 includes a significantly faster Microsoft Store. The feature was not mentioned in the official announcement of this latest version.

Build 26100 focuses mainly on bug fixes and other relatively minor improvements. For example, it was already possible to run Copilot in Windows in a regular application window, but not all the buttons worked properly initially. The Windows dev team has now fixed the issue. However, the Microsoft Store also appears to have been improved with release v22403. The emphasis here is on performance.

With the new Microsoft Store, product pages load about 40 percent faster than before, while the button to buy a product also appears faster. The improvements rest mostly on faster checks for permissions and licenses, but some of the acceleration comes from shorter animations. Users can skip the splash screen most of the time from now on, making starting up an app not only faster under the hood, but also faster from a UX point of view.

Improvements much needed

The Microsoft Store offers installations that are more secure than when a user downloads a conventional .exe file. Following the lead of Apple’s App Store the Google Play Store, Microsoft sought to make this store the central location to download Windows apps since back in 2012. The application works smoothly with touchscreens and controllers by design.

Still, there have been plenty of complaints about the functionality of the Microsoft Store for years. First of all, it deviates from the traditional freedom users enjoy with Windows applications, such as the virtually unlimited ability to modify data within installation folders and configure executables. In addition, users repeatedly complain of slow downloads compared to a download process outside the Microsoft Store.

In short, there has been room for improvement for quite some time. One of the developers of the Microsoft Store hints at more optimizations, but users may discover those for themselves. It is not yet clear when the accelerated app store will appear in a regular Windows update.

Also read: Microsoft reveals high prices for extended support for Windows 10