Microsoft Unveils New Windows Store Design for Metro 8 Apps
Microsoft is taking the model learned from the successes and mistakes of app stores of past (including the Windows Phone Marketplace) and applying them to the brand new Windows 8 Windows Store. It’s a little something borrowed, a little something new, and it has a lot of potential to shake up the tablet space. Here’s the scoop …
Microsoft has launched a Windows Store Blog to follow along with the development of the Windows Store, much like it did with the Building Windows 8 blog. The Windows Store offers a much more visual storefront, much like the Apple App Store for both iOS and Mac, and it’s much more intuitive, unlike the Android Marketplace. According to Microsoft, the company has strived to aggregate content to make it easy to see what’s new and what’s hot and bring “compelling apps to the surface,” through application recommendations and application trails. It’s all done via the very stylish Metro interface, and the feel is similar to the Metro Start Screen, except there’s a white background.
If you’re not keen on using the Windows Store, or simply prefer to Bing or Google for your apps, Internet Explorer 10 includes a special feature: If you reach the landing page for an app available in the Windows Store, there’s no second step required to install the app. Rather, a simple “Get the App” button automatically appears inside Internet Explorer, making installation a tap away. Very cool. Microsoft also has made it possible for IT admins to limit, block or even deploy specific Metro apps for installation, bringing a considerable level of control to Windows 8 users in the corporate environment — something sorely lacking in other “store” environments.
And Microsoft wants to give developers a break as well. Normally, Microsoft splits revenue 70 percent (developer)-30 percent (Microsoft), which is also what Apple does. But developers that hit more than $25,000 in sales for their app will actually see an increase in their take, to 80 percent. Plus, Microsoft has no qualms about in-app subscriptions — the Windows Store blog spells out how developers can take advantage of this. Developers also will be happy to hear registration is $49, half of what Apple charges.
Right now, Microsoft is holding a contest for those who want to be the first to the store when Windows 8 finally launches. The prize, other than notoriety, is …
12 months of Windows Azure hosting, a two-year subscription to the Windows Store, and a Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC, the same as was handed out at the BUILD conference.
So if you’re interested, check out the finer details of the Windows Store here. It’s shaping up to be a very intuitive and friendly way for using Windows 8 tablets and computers with Metro.