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Microsoft shows off Windows 8 marketplace

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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Topic: Windows
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1 of 2 Microsoft

Windows Store overview

Microsoft has given further details on how its app and games marketplace, called Windows Store, will work in the upcoming Windows 8 platform.

The tool is designed for downloading Windows 8 apps that use the Metro interface on tablets and PCs. Unlike Apple's iTunes App Store, it does not handle mobile apps, as these are distributed for Microsoft OS-based handsets via the Windows Marketplace.

Windows Store, which is expected to arrive alongside the Windows 8 beta in late February, has been designed to put content in front of people rather than making them search for titles, according to Jonathan Wang, a program manager at Microsoft.

"On the Store landing page, we will continually feature new and exciting content, changing frequently so that customers come to expect there's always more to explore within the store. The landing page integrates featured content with navigational content — like categories and lists of featured apps," Wang wrote in a blog post on Friday.

According to Microsoft's research, people are more likely to search the store for a specific app than navigate around browsing for new ones. However, Wang sees this as a point of failure and said by integrating featured content, data-driven lists and different categories, Windows Store creates a "cohesive and engaging" experience.

The image above shows the Windows Store landing page with featured content displayed. Individual categories are displayed to the right of the 'Spotlight' box; only the games category is visible above.

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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.

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