May 13th, 2014, 19:44 PM
Windows Store Redesigned for Easier App Browsing
With an updated Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 the big reveals at Microsoft's Build 2014 conference this past April, Redmond's march towards the merging of its two operating systems continues apace. And nowhere is that platform strategy more clear than in the newly revamped Windows Store.
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled an updated design for its PC and tablet app shopping portal, where users discover and download new software for their Windows 8.1 PCs and devices. Evidence that this is all part of a master plan: The new design bears a striking resemblance to that of the new Windows Phone store. The two work together more than ever, though they do remain separate app stores.
The updated Windows Store brings more than just closer alignment with its little brother's app store design. It saves users from having to swipe or right-click to see a menu bar offering quick access to Top Chart apps, categories, curated app collections, and your own collection. It also offers apps you can obtain once for both your PC and your Windows Phone.
Before this redesign, the Windows Store sported one large alternating app image, along with a list of top categories; scrolling right revealed trending, new and rising, and eventually top app charts. Now, like the updated Windows Phone Store, it proposes Featured apps as well as Collections right at the beginning.
The Collections include app groups such as Getting Started, Music, Travel, Sports, and discounted "Red Stripe" deal apps. Apps you can acquire at once for your PC and smartphone will display an icon showing a PC and a phone.
This will apply to free and paid apps and games, such as Halo: Spartan Assault, Asphalt 8: Airborne, or Kinectimals.
The Windows Store update will come to Windows 8.1 Update automatically through Windows Update.