Microsoft shows off Windows 8 marketplace

Microsoft shows off Windows 8 marketplace

Summary: Microsoft has given details on how its Metro app store, called Windows Store, will handle the discovery, downloading and updating of apps when its flagship Windows 8 beta launches


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  • Windows Store listing

    The store maintains the Metro-style interface found in Windows 8, and individual app pages will include that title's brand, colour and logo.

    Once people have found an app they like, selecting it brings up an individual app listing page with a description, average user rating and user submitted reviews, among other information.

    Non-Metro apps, such as the normal Windows desktop apps that pass Microsoft's Desktop App Certification, will also be in the store. However people will not be able to download these directly. Instead, Windows Store will link to the app developer's website.

    Image credit: Microsoft

  • Downloading Windows 8 apps

    Once people have selected an app to download, Windows Store returns them to the page they were previously looking at, so as not to interrupt their browsing.

    "We don't believe you should have to stare at a progress bar and count every second as it goes by. Likewise, staying on the app listing page for the app you just acquired leaves you at a dead end with nothing to do," Wang said.

    As a result, apps can be stacked up to download in the background, as shown above.

    Image credit: Microsoft

  • Updating Windows 8 apps

    Microsoft intends app updates to work in a similarly non-intrusive way.

    Once a day, Windows 8 will check whether there are any available updates for installed apps. The number that is ready to be downloaded will then be shown in the Windows Store's Metro icon.

    After opening up the updates section of the Windows Store, people can decide whether to download them individually or to get them all with one button press.

    Wang said Microsoft will "opportunistically download" but not install the updates when PCs are idle. It will also make sure not to update when the PC is connected to a mobile broadband network, so that users are not hit with excessive data usage charges, he added. People can also switch off the automatic update process in the Windows Store settings.

    Image credit: Microsoft

Topics: Windows, Operating Systems

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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