Windows 8.1 dropped out of mainstream support earlier this year, entering the five-year extended support period in which it receives only security fixes. However, Microsoft is still accepting new application submissions to the Windows 8 Store. Submissions for new Windows Phone 8 apps are also currently accepted.
Today, Microsoft announced that this is soon coming to an end. After October 31, new applications will no longer be accepted for distribution through the store.
Updates to existing applications will continue to be supported. However, there’s now an end date for these, too: from July 1, 2023, Microsoft will cease to distribute any updates for Windows 8.1 Store applications. The deadline for Windows Phone 8 is sooner: updates for those apps will end on July 1, 2019.
The Windows 8 Store always struggled to attract large numbers of developers and applications. To improve the situation for its Windows 10 counterpart, Microsoft has offered new capabilities, such as the ability to distribute regular Windows applications through the store—a move that saw even iTunes joining the store this year.