Windows 11 gets a way to restore apps

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Microsoft is preparing to add an app restore feature to its App Store on Windows 11.

And the software giant will soon begin testing a new feature that allows you to restore applications to a new computer running Windows 11.

The current Microsoft App Store did not offer an automatic way to restore apps, instead forcing Windows users to manually install apps from their library.

To make it easier and faster for customers to transition to new computers, we’re soon testing a new feature in the Windows Insider channel that helps customers automatically restore their pre-installed apps from the Microsoft Store to their new Windows device, explains Giorgio Sardo, general manager of the Microsoft Store. This also helps developers retain their customers without having to remind customers to re-download their apps.

Restore applications is a useful feature for consumers who switch computers frequently or for developers who use multiple virtual machines and devices regularly. Windows users had to rely on third-party package managers to get a similar experience.

For this new rollback feature to make a real impact, we need to see more apps in the Microsoft Store. And there are signs of improvement over the past year with apps like Firefox, Adobe, Zoom and OBS Studio, all of which are available in the Store.

But there are still many missing applications, and Microsoft is trying to remedy this by removing the queue for win32 applications, and opening the Store to all application developers.

Microsoft is also improving how Windows 11 users discover apps, with app results from the Store listed in search results if people are using search to try to find an app.

Windows Insider subscribers can also start testing this new app search feature in the Start menu soon.

Microsoft supports external widgets in Windows 11

Microsoft plans to support third-party widgets within Windows 11 later this year. At the annual Build Developers Conference, the software giant said it’s letting developers access widgets for its newest operating system with win32 or PWA applications.

Access to the widget system is currently limited to native widgets created by Microsoft .

The company has created widgets for Outlook and To Do applications. But the rest depends largely on the web to display weather, entertainment or news feeds in the Windows 11 widget panel.

“We are energized by customer feedback on widgets,” says Panos Panay, Head of Hardware and Windows Operating System. People enjoy quick access to the content that matters most to them in a seamless manner. Starting later this year, you can start creating widgets as companion experiences for Win32 and PWA applications across Windows 11, powered by the Adaptive Cards platform.

The company does not provide full details about the widget plans. But it helps that this part of the operating system may be available to third parties soon.

The news comes days after the company began testing new desktop widgets for the operating system with a web search bar.

And widgets are hidden in a dedicated panel in Windows 11. But it looks like Microsoft is ready to make them more easily available across the desktop soon.

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