|A component of Microsoft Windows|
Image of the Windows Store on Windows 8.1.
|Included with||Windows 8, Windows RT|
|Active / 125,000 Apps|
|Part of a series on|
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 Windows Store, with paid apps ranging in cost from US$1.49 to $999.99. Windows Store was first made available with the 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. Microsoft takes 30% of the sale price of Windows Store apps until sales reach $25,000, when the cut is reduced to 20%.
As of November 2013 there are more than 125,000 apps available on the Windows Store.
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.
Microsoft first announced that the next version of Windows would include its own digital distribution service, Windows Store, at its presentation during Build on September 13, 2011. Further details announced during the conference revealed that the store would be able to hold listings for both certified Windows applications, and "Metro-style apps"—a new type of application primarily optimized for use on touchscreen devices running Windows 8 and Windows RT. For consumer-oriented versions of Windows 8, Windows Store is intended to be the only way to obtain apps. While announced alongside the "Developer Preview" release of Windows 8, the Windows Store itself was not yet available in a usable form until the "Consumer Preview", released in February 2012.
An updated version of Windows Store is introduced by the Windows 8.1 update. Its home page was remodeled to display apps in focused categories (such as popular, recommended, top free and paid, and special offers) with expanded details, while the ability for apps to automatically update was also added.
This table gives the app count according to MetroStoreScanner.
|As of date||Total app count||Month over month|
|November 30, 2012||24,358||N/A|
|December 31, 2012||35,973||11,615|
|January 31, 2013||40,666||4,693|
|February 28, 2013||44,309||3,643|
|March 31, 2013||52,751||8,442|
|April 30, 2013||65,891||13,140|
|May 31, 2013||80,302||14,411|
|June 30, 2013||99,401||19,099|
|July 31, 2013||110,299||10,898|
|August 31, 2013||114,624||4,325|
|September 30, 2013||118,551||3,927|
|October 31, 2013||124,437||5,886|
|November 30, 2013||130,892||6,455|
|December , 2013|
Windows Store is the primary means of distributing Windows Store apps to users; the official reason is to allow Microsoft to scan apps for security flaws and malware. Windows Store apps can be installed from outside Windows Store by an organization's IT department however. Microsoft will take a 30% cut of application sales until it reaches $25,000 USD in revenue, after which the cut will drop to 20%. Third-party transactions are also allowed, of which Microsoft does not take a cut. Individual developers will be able to register for $19 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.
Similarly to Windows Phone Store, 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 (i.e. content warranting 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 has indicated that it does have the ability to remotely disable and/or remove apps from users' systems for security or legal reasons; in the case of paid apps, refunds would be issued if this were to occur.
The company initially faced criticism for incorrectly banning PEGI "18"-rated content from Windows Store in Europe, as critics noted that a number of "18"-rated games were rated "Mature" by ESRB (making the rule stricter than intended). The guidelines were amended in December 2012 to correct this abnormality.
Windows Store provides developer tools for tracking apps in the store. One can track downloads, financials, crashes, adoption and ratings.
- Xbox Music
- Xbox Video
- Windows Marketplace
- Windows Phone Store
- List of Microsoft software applications
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