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Microsoft Updates Windows Store With New Cohesive Vision

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 8 comments

Microsoft's Windows and Windows Phone stores are becoming more unified.

On Tuesday Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc updated the Windows Experience Blog with news that Microsoft has updated the Windows Store to make it easier for customers to find the apps they want. The news follows the release of Windows 8.1 Update (1), which allows the user to pin Microsoft Store and Start screen apps to the taskbar.

“Today, we are rolling out a new update which focuses on enhancements to the Windows Store that addresses customer feedback and makes it a lot easier to find the apps you want for your Windows PC or Tablet,” he writes.

For starters, Microsoft has added a persistent navigation bar. Previously users were required to swipe in from the right or right-click for the navigation bar to appear. However consumer feedback indicated that customers want to quickly browse through the chart toppers, the categories they’re interested in, and browse through collection. Thus the navigation bar features app groups including Top Charts, Categories and Collections.

LeBlanc says that the Collections groupings will also be on the main landing page when customers launch Windows Store.

“We have an entire team of experts who curate Collections to help you discover new apps,” he writes. “For example, we have a Getting Started Collection that pulls together some of the most downloaded and highest rated apps that new devices owners are likely to enjoy. We also have theme-based Collections – think music, travel, sports, and so on.”

Customers looking for bargains will never miss a sale again, as the original pricetag will have a strike-through and a discounted price written in red. The landing and Category pages will also now include groups of apps representing some of the top, new, trending, and “rising stars”.

Finally, publishers will now be able to link their free Windows and Windows Phone apps. Publishers can also link their paid apps so that when a customer purchases an app, it’s accessible across all Windows devices. That means customers won’t need to buy multiple versions of the same app for different devices. Apps taking this multi-device route will be branded with a screen/smartphone screen icon.

“Microsoft Studios, for example, is now publishing Halo: Spartan Assault in this way, meaning no matter whether you buy from the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store first, you can get the app for your other compatible Windows devices without having to pay again,” Leblanc writes.

Customers who installed Windows 8.1 Update will see the Windows Store upgrades soon in Windows Update. However the majority of customers will receive the update automatically, he writes.

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  • -2 Hide
    junkeymonkey , May 13, 2014 10:33 AM
    seems Microsoft could put that effort in there OS to make it better and more likeable to there users
  • -1 Hide
    Avus , May 13, 2014 11:36 AM
    their shit store still cannot buy 100% of the PC games i will buy...
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , May 13, 2014 11:54 AM
    In the metro interface, you can just start typing and it will search the store. No swipe necessary.

    This new nav bar is like an expanded start button turned sideways. Why does Microsoft hate the good ol' start button so much?
  • Display all 8 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    red77star , May 13, 2014 6:24 PM
    Microsoft cannot make decision on design. Overall it is still circus with colorful squares in translation just another flop... They need to kill Metro completely. And who needs Store for PC?
  • 0 Hide
    alextheblue , May 13, 2014 7:04 PM
    I really hope all the devs get onboard with the linked apps ASAP. Buy once play anywhere... laptop, tablet, phone. Actually this would be useful for some non-game apps too.
  • -1 Hide
    mortsmi7 , May 13, 2014 9:27 PM
    So metro is becoming more like windows to improve convenience. I find that hilarious.
  • -1 Hide
    edwd2 , May 14, 2014 2:51 AM
    MS needs to drop metro and design a new UI
  • -1 Hide
    ubercake , May 14, 2014 12:51 PM
    I really hope all the devs get onboard with the linked apps ASAP. Buy once play anywhere... laptop, tablet, phone. Actually this would be useful for some non-game apps too.

    Right. I thought this was the whole point of Windows 8. Poor introduction. They released it before it was ready to do this. Hopefully, the new management learns from the last managers' many mistakes.