Ads are about to make their big debut in the Microsoft Store on Windows.

Today, Microsoft announced the change, saying that developers can now advertise their apps directly in the Microsoft Store app on Windows. The company says it is bringing ads to the store in order to “help developers grow their business by getting their apps or games in front of the right customers at the right time, and to inspire Microsoft Store customers with great content.”

According to the blog post, over 900 million unique users visited the Microsoft Store last year, which the company points out as a huge opportunity for advertisers looking to get their apps in front of interested customers.

With Microsoft Store Ads, developers now have new app discoverability opportunities on Windows. Microsoft Store Ads is all desktop traffic, with mission-driven users that have a high intent to download a desktop app. The opportunity is vast; 2022 was a record year, with over 900 million unique users worldwide utilizing the Microsoft Store, and a 122% year-over-year increase in developer submissions of new apps and games.

Microsoft says that any developer can advertise their app on the Microsoft Store. According to the company, the ads will be served to users running the store on both Windows 11 and Windows 10 devices. The company does note that, in order to advertise, the developer will need to have a published app on the store.

We are now offering a new set of Open App Store Principles that welcome all developers to bring the best apps and games to Windows 11 devices, from apps using their own commerce to third-party storefronts. And last year, we announced a waitlist program for Win32 apps in Microsoft Store and welcomed hundreds of developers. Today, we are pleased to share that the program is now open to all Win32 developers (.NET, C++, Electron, Flutter, Qt, Rust, and more). If your app or game is not in the Microsoft Store yet, begin by publishing your Windows app.

Ads being limited to Windows 11 and Windows 10 isn’t surprising, especially since the company officially ended support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 a couple of weeks ago. We’ll have to wait and see if ads for the Windows Store is successful but hopefully the state of the Mac App Store isn’t an indication of what can be expected.

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