We’ve heard at the Build 2014 that the Windows Store was about to get a facelift, but we didn’t know exactly when. If you’ve updated your Windows 8 devices recently, then you have already received it as part of the Patch Tuesday update.
The Windows 8.1 Update was released with many important features for desktop users, such as the ability to pin Windows Store apps to your taskbar and others Now the Windows Store has received an important update which thus makes complete the Windows 8.1 Update. The main purpose of the redesign is to make it easier to find apps and to give the Windows Store. So, let’s have a look at all the new features.
Top charts, categories and collections
As you can see in the above screenshot, everything now looks much more organized, and you can see there a “Surface picks” category, as well, which, obviously, is aimed at those who own a Surface tablet. But, this is just a way to get some more promotion for Microsoft‘s tablet. Besides this, a quick shortcut has been included to your account settings, as well.
Navigating the Windows Store previously required a finger-swipe or right-click. Now, the navigation bar persists on top of the Store for intuitive, fast access. But that doesn’t mean it’s cluttered. Customer feedback tells us that most people want to quickly see the chart-toppers, search by the top categories they’re interested in, or browse our curated Collections. Because of this, the navigation bar is now focused on to Top charts, Categories, and Collections. You can still quickly access your Account information.
Collections on the Store Landing Page
We’ve been seeing more and more collections on the Featured area for quite a while now, especially when Red Stripe Deal have been appearing. And now we’re seeing a dedicated space for all kinds of collections like “getting started”, “better together” or “music lovers”. For example, when it was Mother’s day or the Valentine’s Day, and there were some curated apps on the Windows Store with that occasion.
We have an entire team of experts who curate Collections that to help you discover new apps. 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. And you can always find great deals in our Red Stripe Deals Collection, where 6 top apps and games are discounted at least 50% off each week. Now in addition to Collections being present on the new persistent navigation bar, several of these Collections are front and center when you open the Store.
Multiple featured titles
Continuing the theme, the Store team is always on the look-out for the best apps for users. Several of these are now grouped together right on the Store landing page, and also on the Category pages. Also, over the next few days for titles that are currently on sale, you’ll start to see a strike-through of the original price with the sale price in red – no more missing out on great deals.
The feature area has been here for quite a while now, and now it’s gotten an even better place for more eyeballs. Besides great apps, from time to time, we’ll get to see discounted apps, as well.
App publishers can now choose to link their free Windows and Windows Phone apps, helping you to quickly identify and download the apps you love across your Windows devices. Similarly, publishers can also choose to link their paid apps such that if you buy the app once, you can get it across your Windows devices. This also applies to in-app purchase of durable items. Microsoft Studios, for example, is now publishing Halo: Spartan Assault in this way, meaning 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. Pretty slick, huh? This is one of my favorite Store enhancements.
Microsoft has tested out this feature for a long while and, at a certain point, all of the apps carried the above icon, but now this has been fixed and only those apps which can indeed run on Windows Phone. So, now if you will buy an app from the Windows Store, you will be able to run it on your Windows Phone device, as well.