Microsoft is placing the Home windows subsystem for Linux in its App Retailer for sooner updates.
For a certain type of person, the new additions to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) are some of the best features in Windows 11. And Microsoft has announced that new WSL features will be even easier to come by in the future. The company released a preview version of WSL on the Microsoft Store so Windows 11 users can download and update WSL independently of other Windows updates.
Many of the built-in Windows apps are already updated via the Microsoft Store instead of normal Windows updates. This gives the company more flexibility in deciding when to update apps. As a side effect, however, many of the Windows 11 preinstalled apps have not yet been fully updated for Windows 11. You don’t have to wait for a new Windows update to benefit from updated apps.
For WSL, this means that you don’t have to install any major, potentially disruptive Windows updates (such as Windows 11) just to take advantage of the new WSL additions. Microsoft specifically names “GUI app support, GPU computing, and Linux file system drive mounting” as the main features that can be added via Microsoft Store updates, in addition to less noticeable updates like new Linux kernel versions.
For now, the Microsoft Store version of WSL is just a “preview,” and the officially supported version that you should use for important things is still the version built into Windows. However, the long-term goal is that the store version of WSL is “the best way to install and use WSL”. Microsoft will consider user feedback when deciding what to do with the built-in, non-store version of WSL in future versions of Windows.
Microsoft’s post does not mention whether WSL will at some point be available in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users who otherwise may not be eligible for updated WSL features. We asked Microsoft about this and will provide an update when we get an answer.