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Microsoft will combine the Windows 10 and Xbox One app stores

Microsoft will combine the Windows 10 and Xbox One app stores

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Microsoft is bringing together its Windows and Xbox app stores. This summer, with the release of Windows 10's Anniversary update, the two stores will be combined into one, creating "a single unified store across devices," says Xbox lead Phil Spencer.

With universal apps, Microsoft only needs a single store

It's a natural next step for Windows 10. Microsoft has been planning all along to have apps that run across everything from the desktop to the phone to the Xbox — if that's going to be the case, there's no reason it should separate Xbox apps out into their own store.

Universal apps launch on the Xbox this summer, alongside the update. Microsoft is trying to make it as easy as possible for developers — including game developers — to make their products into universal apps. During its Build conference, Microsoft said it's created a conversion tool that can automatically turn new and old games into cross-platform apps. The tool also allows developers to add support for Live Tiles, notifications, and Xbox One controllers, regardless of their original platform.

Microsoft is making it easier for anyone to start developing apps and games, as well. This summer, it'll allow all Xbox One owners to turn their console into a development kit and then switch back and forth between gaming and developing modes.

Check out our Microsoft Build 2016 live blog for the latest updates and our Microsoft hub page for all the news!