Microsoft is planning to step up promotion of third-party apps in its forthcoming Windows 10 update.
In its Windows 10 Anniversary Update, slated to arrive later this year, Microsoft will be increasing the number of promoted apps – known as "programmable tiles" – from five to 10, according to a PowerPoint deck from last week's Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) conference.
Programmable tiles are shown as part of the Start menu. When a user clicks on a promoted app tile, they're taken to the corresponding page on Microsoft's Windows Store, where they can download it.
According to the PowerPoint deck, Microsoft's goal is to "introduce users [and] expose them to the Windows Store," where they can "discover [and] engage with high-quality [and] locally relevant apps".
As Microsoft notes in the deck, individual users can easily remove promoted app tiles, and commercial customers can use Group Policy to disable them.
Microsoft has been aggressively trying to get Windows 8 and Windows 8/8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10, using pop-up windows and bundling Windows 10 files in software updates to nudge them in that direction.
If Microsoft can get everyone onto Windows 10, the task of updating and securing the OS will be greatly simplified.