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The New Windows Store

Microsoft will be introducing new Windows Store when they release Windows 10 on July 29, 2015. The new Store will provide users with a unified shopping experience across every Windows 10 device. The ability to browse the store on PCs, tablets, and smartphones and easily purchase digital content including apps, games, music, movies and TV shows will make the Windows Store a competitor for Google and Apple.

The new Store (as presented in beta version) features several much-needed design improvements. The top navigation menu is visually more pleasing. There are now different and some new categories, such as Movies & TV. It appears that this category will only be available in markets that already have Xbox video service. Games is now in a separate category as well. Search results are now automatically split up by Type (Apps or Games), then sub-categories.

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Microsoft is investing a lot of effort into making it easy to bring existing Android, iOS, and even older-school Windows apps into the new, improved Windows Store. Microsoft claims that with Windows 10, developers will now be able to publish hosted web apps to the Windows store. This will allow developers to easily convert components of their web sites into apps that are available for download from the Windows store, but still host them remotely on their own web infrastructure. Microsoft hopes this ability will entice more developers to write apps for the Windows 10 platform, which includes desktops, smartphones, Xbox, and other devices. This will go a long way in fixing what has until now been Microsoft’s weakest link – its app store.

Microsoft recently announced a set of new policy guidelines for Windows app developers, all designed to rid the store of inappropriate, aka garbage, apps. Windows 10 will allow Microsoft to offer a more unified experience across all devices — PCs, laptops, tablets and phones by combining the Windows Store and Windows Phone store into one single destination.

In a broad attempt to improve the quality of their offerings, Microsoft is implementing some specific requirements for any app that is available in the Windows Store. They are tightening up developer guidelines in an effort to do away with app clutter. Too many apps with similar titles and icons can confuse customers. Microsoft may also get rid of apps that don’t offer unique content or value, and they are changing their pricing structure to make sure that each app is priced appropriately. Though developers set the price for their apps, Microsoft wants to ensure that customers get what they pay for.

Microsoft also wants developers to clearly distinguish between app categories and formats including informational apps, such as guides and tutorials, from functional apps, such as games and productivity software. They want customers to get exactly what they are looking for and are not fooled into buying an informational app when they actually want a productivity app. One other thing that will be enforced in the Windows Store is to ensure that an app’s title and keywords are relevant to its content. The title and description cannot say that the app is similar to or better than other apps unless they are comparable.