I have both versions and tried…
Guys don’t buy this game other than from STEAM, non-Steam versions cannot be installed without app store and don’t work on LTSC/LTSB
I bought the Premium Deluxe on Steam
I also bought the game as Premium Deluxe on Microsoft
I also was a tech alpha…
I also have the Xbox for PC GamePass that allows me access to Standard version of FS2020
Of the four options above, Only the STEAM version allows installing without app store and on versions like Windows LTSC etc…
Steam also offers refunds if you played less than 2 hours, not counting the time it took you to download and install it, whilst if you get the digital code from Microsoft the moment you activate it there is zero chance of any refunds.
Steam is an app store as an downloadable installer that is correct, but I’m specifically referring to the Windows 10 App Store that is baked into the Operating System itself… this is far more problematic. The difference is you can install Steam on all versions of Windows 10, including LTSC/LTSB and Windows 10 with the Windows Store stripped out or completely disabled, BUT you cannot install FS2020 on Windows 10 LTSC if you bought it through Microsoft without going through Steam. For people who already play Steam games, and its a lot of PC gamers, this makes a huge difference if they are already on a LTSC version of Windows or otherwise have disabled/stripped out the Windows Store and still wish to try FS2020 but don’t want to reimage or reinstall their entire machine…
Those folks on Windows 10 LTSC won’t be able to play FS2020 if buying this game through Microsoft, but it WILL WORK if bought through Steam. Even people who aren’t on LTSC versions of Windows, some of them have ran scripts to stripe out and remove the Windows App Store / etc from their versions of Windows, they will have the same problem if trying to fly it with the Microsoft version, but this can be overcome if they bought it on STEAM.
STEAM is also offering full refunds and very reasonable even if you played longer than 2 hours and you have a justification they will more likely than not still grant refunds. Compared to Microsoft policy that the moment you activate the code there is zero chance of refund, plus even if you don’t activate the code, after 2 weeks from moment of purchase you also lose the right to refund etc… vs Steam gives you at least a full month.
From these facts, there are ZERO benefits to going with the Microsoft version compared to the STEAM version. In fact the STEAM version benefits are dual prong, it gives more flexibility in terms of refund options/time, and also it works on LTSB/LTSC versions of Windows 10 and versions of Windows 10 with the Windows Store disable/stripped out/etc. Furthermore if you buy any DLC its also transacted via the Steam payment platform which means likely you will have better recourse and refund options vs compared to doing it directly with Microsoft.