Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Enhanced Windows Store app discoverability, refreshed...

  1. #1

    Posts : 21,860
    64-bit Windows 10

    Enhanced Windows Store app discoverability, refreshed...

    Providing a great shopping experience keeps users coming back to the Store. We’re constantly working to improve the way apps are presented, to help users search for specific app titles. Today I’d like to talk about a few enhancements we’re rolling out to make the Windows Store experience even better, and what that means for developers.

    Last month’s Windows 8.1 Update made it easier for users to find and stay connected to their favorite apps by placing the Store icon in the taskbar and enabling apps to be pinned to the taskbar for desktop users.
    Today, we begin rolling out an update that will provide an enhanced user experience inside the Windows Store itself. We’ve also enabled developers to do price promotions on their apps, and amended Windows Store policies for phone, tablet and PC apps to further improve app discoverability and minimize customer confusion.

    Enhanced Windows Store user experience

    Today’s update focuses on enhancements that address customer feedback and makes it easier for users to find your apps including:

    • Persistent Store navigation bar – enables users to discover and filter apps by Category, Top charts and Collections
    • Collections – expanded set of Collections, accessible from the Store landing page. Some collections will also show the ability to “Install All” the apps in that collection, which will make it easier for consumers to start using apps in collections
    • Featured apps and new ‘top’ lists – new sections help promote great new apps. The ‘Top grossing’ list includes apps that generate revenue through download to own or in-app purchase
    • Increased app density – throughout the refresh you’ll notice an increase in the volume of apps promoted

    For more information and details about the new Windows Store refresh see today’s post on the Experience Windows blog.

    Universal indicator

    Starting with today’s update, Windows Store users will see the universal indicator identifying apps available for both Windows and Windows Phone that have been linked in Dev Center, and can be purchased once for use on compatible Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.1 devices. The ability to purchase once is coming to Windows Phone 7 and 8 later in the year. Learn more about the indicator and linking apps.

    Price promotions on Windows Store

    App discounts and sales are a proven method of promoting an app, driving acquisitions and gaining new customers.
    Starting today, Windows Store developers can put their paid apps on “sale” in the Windows Store by choosing a new, lower price tier (including free), the start date/time, and end date/time. When the app promotion begins, customers will see the old price with a strikethrough, the new price and the discount as a percentage. The Store also tells the customer when the sale ends which drives conversions by underscoring the limited time aspect of the promotion.

    Developers do not need to submit a new release to change the price of their app, rather they simply schedule a price promotion using the Dev Center UI (shown below), which appears on the App Details page. The promotion price automatically reverts to the original price when sale ends.

    Windows Store Certification Requirements updates

    Another way that we’re increasing Store engagement is by taking steps to help users find and install the apps they’re looking for without sorting through confusing lists of similar titles. We think it’s reasonable for users to expect apps to offer distinct value and feature names that accurately represent the app’s capability. With the latest release (6.0) of the App certification requirements for the Windows Store, we made changes to streamline the requirements. We’ve also adopted policies to ensure that apps are described and named in a way that doesn’t misrepresent the app purpose.

    Category Guidance

    Users generally expect an app to be categorized according to the app function and purpose. For example, if the app is a guide for gameplay, it should be clear to the user prior to purchase that it is a guide and not a game. This policy update will help ensure that an app like this is not categorized under games, but is instead placed in a more appropriate category such as books and reference.

    App Naming Guidance

    Similarly an app title needs to clearly and accurately reflect the functionality of the app so customers know what they’re downloading. If your app is a game guide, is should highlight that as a primary function in the title. Revised policies will help guard against app names that too closely resemble an app that is already available.
    Acceptable Not Acceptable
    Game Guide for
    Tips and Tricks for
    Game Guide
    Tips and Tricks
    e.g. Features for Skype
    e.g. Microsoft Office Features

    Icon Guidance

    Your app icons also need to be differentiated from icons for other apps and needs to prominently feature imagery and text that will not be mistaken with others. If using text in the icon, follow the App Naming Guidance outlined above.
    Original app
    Acceptable icon for related app
    Not acceptable

    Next steps

    I to recommend a few actions to help you get started:

    1) Download the latest Windows update to start using the refreshed Store. You’ll want to review your Windows app metadata (particularly app names and iconography) to minimize certification or policy failures. If you are contacted with a request to make updates, make sure to resubmit your app as soon as you can, you’ll want your app to be visible in the new Windows Store user experience.

    2) Consider linking your existing Windows Store and Windows Phone Store apps to increase discoverability and download across platforms.

    3) If you missed the news earlier this week, Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 reached RTM and is now available for download, as are the recently released Microsoft Ad SDKs that include rich media units to help increase your eCPM.
    Finally we also recently posted new JumpStart content to help you get started building universal Windows apps.
    Be sure to let me know your questions and feedback as you check out the Store refresh and download the final tools.

    See also: Windows Store refresh makes it easier to find apps

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Bay Area
    Posts : 21,408
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64

    Windows 8.1 Store update brings easier navigation and...

    Windows 8.1 Store update brings easier navigation and curated apps

    Microsoft quitely revamped the Windows 8.1 Store on Tuesday with a host of changes designed to make finding apps a bit easier. According to the company's Windows Experience blog, the update is also aimed at making navigation a bit more mouse and keyboard friendly for those of us who aren't on touchscreen devices.

    A Guy
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Puerto Rico
    Posts : 70
    Windows 7 Ultimate/Windows 8.1 Update Pro with Media Center/Windows Technical Preview [All 64-bit]

    Using already the "new" Windows Store and it is fantastic... this is how it should have been since the first release! And I find out that the app is more stable and a lot faster on my PC!!!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 279
    64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorlan2001 View Post
    Using already the "new" Windows Store and it is fantastic... this is how it should have been since the first release! And I find out that the app is more stable and a lot faster on my PC!!!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,374
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Hi there

    I'm a STORE HATER - don't like that way of installing apps etc etc. In any case I will either use REPUTABLE Free software or buy it from established sources who still provide independent installation files.

    What I dislike INTENSLY about the store type of concept is that if I have to re-install windows (or possibly even upgrade) I probably will have to download a whole slew of stuff from the store which *might* or *might not* work.

    What I currently do is have all my applications that need to be installed residing on an HDD directory /installable_applications and in this directory have sub directory application name, serial number (if any) version, fixes etc.

    So after re-installing Windows I can just click through this directory and its a breeze to re-install any applications I want - and revert back to earlier versions if the latest doesn't work or I don't like it.

    If you have more than ONE machine the store could also get tiresome -- you would probably need several accounts etc etc.

    Count me out of this method of software installations -- I accept it on a mobile phone because I'm not "re-installing" the OS -but even here on a mobile the store concept can go bonkers if you either change your phone or get another one. Most PHONE backup programs need some sort of Root access which causes all sorts of OTHER problems too.

    (Also the wretched new store app causes problems when running on a VIRTUAL MACHINE in UNITY MODE- the app often starts at will and it's annoying to continually have to close it !!!).

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 376
    W8.1, W7

    Basically, offering a pile of useless trash, bloatware, nonsense and anemic, skeletical copies of real programs (for my workflow and IMO. Tablet users, kids & grannies may find something useful in there). MS must have gone mad to allow so much junk. Store service disabled here, enabling it now and then, so far just to confirm it will stay disabled.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Posts : 1,720
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    I think PC stands for 'Public Computer' now. The 'Personal Computer' as we used to know it is long gone!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    ABSOLUTELY of no value to me since I can't get the Windows Update to install for this piece of junk.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Posts : 168
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64

    I guess there's a lot of junk in the store ... I mean, I literally haven't tried every single app and put them through rigorous tests. But it just seems to me when you find the right ones for your needs, the good ones, then you're good to go. I have a Surface RT, and it goes without saying that everything I have on there is from the store, and I can do everything on that tablet that I want to do (that is of a tablet-related nature or task, that is). On my laptop and desktop gaming rig, I use a combination of both conventional x86 desktop apps and store apps. Take VLC. I still use the regular version because the store version is not working right for me yet. But that's just one example.

    At the very least, it seems to me the store has evolved quite a bit since its inception, and right now it seems better organized and easier to find things. I hope it keeps growing, not just in quantity, but in quality as well. Obviously that's important.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,374
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Hi there.

    I just hope that next time you have to install Windows from Scratch you don't find all the apps you downloaded from the store have either disappeared, "Gone PRO" (i.e pay), or been upgraded so they don't work properly.

    It seems obvious to me that the people who like the store are either SINGLE users who have ONE machine or come from a tablet / mobile phone background where this approach is much more usual.

    I just hope you don't have to install all this junk on say 250 PC's every so often. The Store IMO is a bad concept for high volume customers or even if you have a few PC's say 3 or 4-- it will NOT fly in Enterprise areas -in fact most businesses who have upgraded to W8.1 instead of W7 have probably DISABLED the store in the first place.

    In fact on GOOGLEPLAY (android) the biggest gripe I see is that when an app is upgraded and performs worse than the previous version users can't get the old version back. This is BOUND to happen as well with the Ms Store.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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