|A component of Microsoft Windows|
Image of the Windows Store on Windows 8.
|Included with||Windows 8, Windows RT|
|Active / 72,000 Apps|
The Windows Store is a digital distribution platform in Microsoft's Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems. The platform can be used to provide listings for desktop applications certified to run on Windows 8, but is also the primary distribution platform for a new type of app called "Windows Store apps".
Free and paid applications can be distributed through the Windows Store, with paid apps ranging in cost from US$1.49 to $999.99. The Windows Store was first made available with Windows 8 Consumer Preview on February 29, 2012.
Comparable to other similar platforms, such as the Mac App Store and Google Play, Windows Store is curated and apps must be certified for compatibility and content. There are many variations of several apps in the store where most of them have bugs that need to be fixed. Many apps available on Mac App Store and Google Play are not available on Windows Store. Microsoft takes 30% of the sale price of Windows Store apps until sales reach $25,000 at which point it is reduced to 20%.
It was announced in December 2012 that the Windows store on Windows 8 and Windows RT editions has already reached 35,000 apps available.
Microsoft previously maintained a similar digital distribution system for software known as the Windows Marketplace, which allowed consumers to purchase software online and download it to their computer online—product keys and licenses were also tracked by the platform, allowing users to retrieve their purchases when switching computers. The Windows Marketplace service was discontinued in November 2008.
Windows 8 
Microsoft announced the Windows Store on September 13, 2011 at the 2011 //Build/ Conference. Microsoft confirmed that the Windows Store will be a platform for distributing Windows applications, both Metro-style and traditional apps, and the store will only support Windows 8 and above. While the Windows Developer Preview was released publicly for testing that day, it did not let users test the Windows Store. The Windows Store client that was included in the Developer Preview of Windows 8 only displayed a "Coming Soon" message.
The Windows Store will be the primary means of distributing its namesake applications to users; the official reason is to allow Microsoft to scan apps for security flaws and malware. Line of Business Metro-style apps can be installed from outside the Windows Store by an organization's IT department however. The Windows Store will take a 30% cut of application sales. Once an application reaches $25,000 USD in revenue, the cut drops to 20%. Third-party transactions are also allowed, of which Microsoft does not take a cut. Individual developers will be able to register for $49 USD and companies for $99 USD.
Developers from 120 countries can submit applications to Windows Store. The application now can support any of 109 languages, as long as it supports one of 12 application certification languages.
Similar to the Windows Phone Store, the Windows Store is regulated by Microsoft. Applicants must obtain Microsoft's approval before their application becomes available on the store. Prohibited apps include those that:
- Contain any adult content, or content that would warrant or has PEGI's 18 or the ESRB's "Adults Only" rating (or equivalents)
- Advocate discrimination, hatred or violence based on membership in a particular racial, ethnic, national, linguistic, religious, or other social group, or based on a person’s gender, age, or sexual orientation
- Contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes illegal activity
- Contain or display content that a reasonable person would consider to be obscene
- Are defamatory, libelous or slanderous, or threatening
- Encourage, facilitate or glamorize excessive or irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs or weapons
- Encourage, facilitate or glamorize extreme or gratuitous violence, human rights violations or the creation or use of weapons against a person or animal in the real world
- Contain excessive or gratuitous profanity
Microsoft faced criticism for its initially inconsistent implementation of ratings guidelines for games across regions. The guidelines previously specified that content exceeding the "16" rating of PEGI or the ESRB's "Mature" rating was not allowed in Windows Store apps. A number of critics and publications noted a discrepancy between the two systems, as a number of major video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB (such as, for example, BioShock) were rated "18" by PEGI, theoretically banning them from the Windows Store in Europe. In October 25, 2012, however, a Microsoft spokesperson announced that the rating guidelines would be modified in December 2012 to account for this discrepancy.
Developer tools 
The Windows Store provides tools for the developer to track his or her app in the store. One can track downloads, financials, crashes, adoption and ratings.
See also 
- Xbox Music
- Xbox Video
- Windows Marketplace
- Windows Phone Store
- List of Microsoft software applications
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