Amazon Shopping and more big apps released for Windows 8

In terms of sheer numbers, the Windows Store has been adding a steady stream of Windows 8 and Windows RT apps for download. However, we have also begun to see more apps being launched by major companies and websites, such as the recently released official NASCAR app and ESPN's ScoreCenter app. Now three more apps from names many of you will recognize have also appeared on the Windows Store.

The biggest is the official Amazon Shopping app for Windows 8. While Amazon's Kindle app for Windows 8 has been in the Windows Store for several months, the massive online retailer has now launched a dedicated Windows 8 app where people can browse and shop from Amazon's huge catalog of items.

Yet another new app that has appeared in the store comes from the team behind CollegeHumor.com. The popular comedy video site has a ton of original series and video sketches to check out. The app is fairly bare bones at the moment, allowing its users to search through CollegeHumor.com's videos and share them with others.

Finally, many of you might have seen the TV commercials for Ancestry.com, a site where people can learn about their family's history through genealogy records. This weekend, the official Ancestry.com Windows 8 app was published in the Windows Store. Ancestry.com claims that its users can access the company's "10 billion historical records" and "millions of family trees" to learn about their own family background as well as others.

Via: McAkins Online
Source: Windows Store website | Images via Amazon, CollegeHumor.com and Ancestry.com

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Strike anyone else how backwards all this app business is becoming? We've gone from needing software programs for nearly everything, to needing software programs only for specialty tasks with a web browser for the rest, to needing an app for just about everything again.

Wish we could get some genuine advancement in technology again. Reading about mobile/tablet advancements is like reading an old technology magazine.

Fourjays said,
Strike anyone else how backwards all this app business is becoming? We've gone from needing software programs for nearly everything, to needing software programs only for specialty tasks with a web browser for the rest, to needing an app for just about everything again.

Wish we could get some genuine advancement in technology again. Reading about mobile/tablet advancements is like reading an old technology magazine.

It's not so much a regression as it is a catchup. In this case, it's really just the OS catching up with what people already do with their browsers.

Consider the scenario thenetavenger keeps pointing out above. He says the user can download the apps they want, then quickly use the integrated search to quickly look through results from any of those apps in one click.

Users could do that already, but the difference is that they would start their computer, then their browser, then search google, and finally click their their results.

Now they just turn on their Windows 8 computer, use the search charm, and every source they might want to look through is already there.

So I would agree that it isn't some advancement like the creation of the internet itself, but I don't agree that it's a regression. At the very least, Windows is more aligned with the realities of the internet age than it ever was before, which is good progress.

I've been waiting for the Amazon app. I already have Newegg's and Ebay's and both are really good. Hope Amazon's also good.

Ok, I'm going to repeat this, since people are not paying attention....

Yes, the Apps are easier for Touch and Keyboard users; however, there is another important aspect that is overlooked.

SEARCH - WINDOWS 8 INTEGRATED ONLINE SEARCH

(Yes this will be shocking because you don't see 'brilliant' sites like Neowin even mention this functionality or feature set of Windows 8, as NOBODY is talking about them or maybe they are too busy writing Start8 instead of learning how the OS is supposed to work.)

When you type in something to search for, you can click on almost any installed App, and it will do the Online search for you.

This way you can type in a product name, and click through Amazon, Bing, Newegg, EBay and search ALL of them in just a couple of clicks, INSTANTLY.

So even though the 'App' itself is just a glorified Touch/Keyboard usable Web Site, the INTEGRATED SEARCH is the reason it exists and why it is important.

Windows 7 tried to push online search with Federated Search that extended the base local searching technology to online services. It lacked the ability for sites to control content, ads, etc, and even sites.

Windows 8 comes back with an updated version of this concept, and now sites like Amazon can display their search results and Ads or format it however they want if they have an App that hooks into the Windows 8 search features.

Simple, solves all the concerns of online sites, and provides the user with a really brilliant way of browsing several sites and comparing items or referencing information in a just a few clicks.

This works if you were curious about Beyoncé as well, type in her name, click on Bing, News, Wikipedia, Music, Videos, Netflix and in 5 clicks you have reference anything about her online, any news on her, her complete Wikipedia information, all the songs and Albums she has made any Movies/TV she has been in, and also went to see if any were available on Netflix.


It is this type of 'usability' features of Windows 8 that are powerful and easy and another 'thing' that makes Windows 8 far more powerful than Windows 7, and far more than just a touch OS.

thenetavenger said,
Ok, I'm going to repeat this, since people are not paying attention....

MS should advertise this a little more as well.

People complain about having apps on Windows 8, but even on a desktop I'm finding the apps easier to use. Yes they are "dumbing" down things, but if you worked with the people I work with, you'd understand why they need to "dumb" things down. The average user needs more hand-holding.

When will Microsoft learn that they need to update their app store regularly so people can easily discover new apps? the store front page is so dead, unless you dig deep, you won't find the new apps! They really need to learn from Apple! I have a surface and I love it, but I just cant get over the fact that the home page is useless!

Emad Gaidi said,
When will Microsoft learn that they need to update their app store regularly so people can easily discover new apps? the store front page is so dead, unless you dig deep, you won't find the new apps! They really need to learn from Apple! I have a surface and I love it, but I just cant get over the fact that the home page is useless!

Agree the store is awful for discovering new apps. The New Releases section is a joke. It stays the same for a long time and does not show apps in the order of release.
In fact no where when searching do you know when an app was released. The front page should be changing more than it does and aside from scrolling or using search, you cannot easily get to each category.
I wish there was a setting to always order the apps in the order I prefer, but no have to select it each time.
Its great new apps from big names are coming, but the store doesn't highlight that fact very well.

Why not just put that time into making your website more tablet friendly instead of making me use an app with half the capabilities?

LightEco said,
Why not just put that time into making your website more tablet friendly instead of making me use an app with half the capabilities?

Maybe because the website is meant to be used on a desktop with a mouse and keyboard?

I would hate if they made the website touch friendly with large buttons, large links etc.

yardmanflex said,
Amazon should be ashamed of themselves for putting out this app....

You should be embarrassed you don't understand Windows 8 better and why this is a great App, especially for anyone that wants to do a quick compare of prices between this App, Newegg, Ebay, and Bing.

KevinN206 said,
Apps also allow you to have push notification and tile updates, if implemented.

Also an app provides easy access to sharing (not usually that easy to do without extensions or going to another website if using a browser), plus send to devices (probably not something used for Amazon.com but other apps will)

I made the same silly comment a while ago, why an app if you can use a browser!
But somebody pointed out, and fairly so, that most websites are not very touch friendly, so an app can make you life a lot easier

What is actually ridiculous is that people will complain about anything.
More options? I hate that. People must be lazy to not use the web interface. <- Think please

Stoffel said,
I made the same silly comment a while ago, why an app if you can use a browser!

I prefer the apps in many cases. It's nice to have things use my entire screen.

They're a bit too new so they aren't that functional yet in all cases, but it's a good start.

Deranged said,

I prefer the apps in many cases. It's nice to have things use my entire screen.

They're a bit too new so they aren't that functional yet in all cases, but it's a good start.

I don't own a touch device yet, so up until now I didn't really think about the benefits of an app over a website, until somebody pointed them out to me.

So now I do agree with you that in most cases on a touch device the app might be preferred over a website

Stoffel said,

I don't own a touch device yet, so up until now I didn't really think about the benefits of an app over a website, until somebody pointed them out to me.

So now I do agree with you that in most cases on a touch device the app might be preferred over a website


I don't have a touch device. Full time keyboard and mouse user. On a high end desktop.

Deranged said,

I don't have a touch device. Full time keyboard and mouse user. On a high end desktop.

I'm so happy for you ;-)

Stoffel said,

I don't own a touch device yet, so up until now I didn't really think about the benefits of an app over a website, until somebody pointed them out to me.

So now I do agree with you that in most cases on a touch device the app might be preferred over a website

Search - You can click on each App and search the same term ONLINE instantly. So Type in Intel i5 and they click Amazon, Newegg, Ebay, Bing and compare prices and products instantly.

TCLN Ryster said,

I'm so happy for you ;-)


My point is the advantages are there over a website for pretty much anyone who uses the store frequently, not just touch users. Though I'm sure you figured that out.

It's not as big a deal with mouse and keyboard, but for those folks using a tablet, it allows them a more "finger-friendly" view of a company's site. Not all sites (ok, most of them) are designed to be touch-friendly.

Lord Method Man said,

... with every pointless app that gets released. Thanks for the confirmation.

Ya cause who would want to use integrated search? Oh, you wouldn't, cause you are flipping idiot.

thenetavenger said,

Ya cause who would want to use integrated search? Oh, you wouldn't, cause you are flipping idiot.

I see you've traded in walls of text for quick insults...

Really? People need an app to browse and shop on Amazon now? Are people really this retarded? Every app mentioned in the article is just the website in an app. You can't even use the excuse that it's to make it easier for mobile because this is the Windows 8 store, not the WP8 market. If you're sitting at your desktop, laptop or Win8 tablet then you have a browser. Are computer users this ****ing stupid these days?

Tweaky Nippleton said,
Really? People need an App to browse and shop on Amazon now? Are people really this retarded?

That's not the point. Most of the time apps are more user-friendly on touch devices. Do you browse the full-fledged facebook site on a tablet? No, you'll most probably want to use the facebook app. That's the point why these apps exist and why I welcome each and every one of them.

Jarrichvdv said,

That's not the point. Most of the time apps are more user-friendly on touch devices. Do you browse the full-fledged facebook site on a tablet? No, you'll most probably want to use the facebook app. That's the point why these apps exist and why I welcome each and every one of them.

Sometimes Apps from the Windows 8 Store are useless for desktop PC's

Tweaky Nippleton said,
Really? People need an app to browse and shop on Amazon now? Are people really this retarded? Every app mentioned in the article is just the website in an app. You can't even use the excuse that it's to make it easier for mobile because this is the Windows 8 store, not the WP8 market. If you're sitting at your desktop, laptop or Win8 tablet then you have a browser. Are computer users this ****ing stupid these days?

I just installed the amazon app, took about 2 minutes for me to decide that the app is nicer to use than their site. The great thing about apps is, they start from relative scratch where as they need to be careful as to how much they change their site.

Tweaky Nippleton said,
Really? People need an app to browse and shop on Amazon now? Are people really this retarded? Every app mentioned in the article is just the website in an app. You can't even use the excuse that it's to make it easier for mobile because this is the Windows 8 store, not the WP8 market. If you're sitting at your desktop, laptop or Win8 tablet then you have a browser. Are computer users this ****ing stupid these days?

Nobody complained when these Web apps appeared on other stores, such as on the Apple store. We can only complain about them being junk when they appear on the Win8 store. Never mind additional functionality such as being touch optimized (Amazon's web site is horrible for touch, I accidentally bought a hedge trimmer last week), push notifications and on Win8 tile information (they don't have this yet, but it could be added), etc.

However, at least the Amazon app is functional on Win8 - the iOS apps don't let you buy because of Apple's "you can only sell items if you pay us 30%" rule. On the iPad, I need to add the item to my cart using the app, then go to the web site to complete my purchase. On the Win8 app, I add items to the cart, click checkout, and my items are purchased.

Tweaky Nippleton said,
Really? People need an app to browse and shop on Amazon now? Are people really this retarded? Every app mentioned in the article is just the website in an app. You can't even use the excuse that it's to make it easier for mobile because this is the Windows 8 store, not the WP8 market. If you're sitting at your desktop, laptop or Win8 tablet then you have a browser. Are computer users this ****ing stupid these days?

Why does this even bother you? Some people will prefer the website and some people will prefer the more touch friendly app. To each their own. Worry about other more important things in life instead of whining about senseless things.

nohone said,

Nobody complained when these Web apps appeared on other stores, such as on the Apple store. We can only complain about them being junk when they appear on the Win8 store. Never mind additional functionality such as being touch optimized (Amazon's web site is horrible for touch, I accidentally bought a hedge trimmer last week), push notifications and on Win8 tile information (they don't have this yet, but it could be added), etc.

However, at least the Amazon app is functional on Win8 - the iOS apps don't let you buy because of Apple's "you can only sell items if you pay us 30%" rule. On the iPad, I need to add the item to my cart using the app, then go to the web site to complete my purchase. On the Win8 app, I add items to the cart, click checkout, and my items are purchased.

I say the same thing about these on the desktop Mac app store too. It's redundant and takes away from resources they could have put to making the site more usable instead.

This whole drive to make everything an app is getting out of hand and really just dumbs down the internet and hurts the web as a whole, because companies would rather make apps for their sites than make the site better.

Tweaky Nippleton said,

I say the same thing about these on the desktop Mac app store too. It's redundant and takes away from resources they could have put to making the site more usable instead.

This whole drive to make everything an app is getting out of hand and really just dumbs down the internet and hurts the web as a whole, because companies would rather make apps for their sites than make the site better.

You may say this about other stores, but not many others do. This trend of "This App is useless" only started within the past few months, once they started appearing on the Windows store. Before then, people didn't care and in fact it was celebrated because it means that those stores have a higher app count. And all that matters is that 700,000 number for the Apple store, and the x apps for Android (not really sure what the number of apps on the Google Play store is now). But suddenly, Web apps are criticized when a Win8 version is made.

Apps like The Weather Channel, Etsy, eBay, Pinterest (with almost 30,000 reviews), Pandora, and yes, Amazon (the shopping site and Kindle) all have web sites, but appear within the top 50 of the Apple store. So while you may find them useless, they are useful to some. And the level of integration into the OS available when using an app that is not available when browsing the web makes them even better for the reasons I mentioned above, and more.

nohone said,

However, at least the Amazon app is functional on Win8 - the iOS apps don't let you buy because of Apple's "you can only sell items if you pay us 30%" rule. On the iPad, I need to add the item to my cart using the app, then go to the web site to complete my purchase. On the Win8 app, I add items to the cart, click checkout, and my items are purchased.

Are you serious? You can't buy stuff through an Apple app? That's so cheesy. Please tell me you're kidding.

Tweaky Nippleton said,
Really? People need an app to browse and shop on Amazon now? Are people really this retarded? Every app mentioned in the article is just the website in an app. You can't even use the excuse that it's to make it easier for mobile because this is the Windows 8 store, not the WP8 market. If you're sitting at your desktop, laptop or Win8 tablet then you have a browser. Are computer users this ****ing stupid these days?

its because the apps are touch-oriented.

Enron said,

Are you serious? You can't buy stuff through an Apple app? That's so cheesy. Please tell me you're kidding.

Nope, not kidding. I have the Amazon app on my iPad, and never could find the checkout button. While viewing the Apple store comments so I could write my comment, I noticed other people saying the same thing, they couldn't actually buy from the app. Then I remembered how Amazon had to remove buying books from the Kindle app because all purchasing needs to go through Apple. And since Apple charges 30% for all purchases, it wouldn't make sense to allow purchasing through the Amazon app. So if I were to buy a hedge trimmer, if Amazon charges $100 then Apple gets $30 and $70 actually goes to Amazon and they would lose money on the sale, while Apple makes money even though they did nothing other than force merchants through their payment system. Microsoft offers an in app purchase system, but developers are not forced to use it and they can use their own if they wish. Because Microsoft does not have this rule, I don't need to switch to the web site to actually complete the purchase in the Win8 app like you do with iOS. With the iOS apps, I can add items to my cart, and they will appear in the web site.

nohone said,

Nope, not kidding. I have the Amazon app on my iPad, and never could find the checkout button. While viewing the Apple store comments so I could write my comment, I noticed other people saying the same thing, they couldn't actually buy from the app. Then I remembered how Amazon had to remove buying books from the Kindle app because all purchasing needs to go through Apple. And since Apple charges 30% for all purchases, it wouldn't make sense to allow purchasing through the Amazon app. So if I were to buy a hedge trimmer, if Amazon charges $100 then Apple gets $30 and $70 actually goes to Amazon and they would lose money on the sale, while Apple makes money even though they did nothing other than force merchants through their payment system. Microsoft offers an in app purchase system, but developers are not forced to use it and they can use their own if they wish. Because Microsoft does not have this rule, I don't need to switch to the web site to actually complete the purchase in the Win8 app like you do with iOS. With the iOS apps, I can add items to my cart, and they will appear in the web site.

Must you constantly talk out of your arse?

Yes you cannot purchase Kindle books on the iOS apps due to Apple's ridiculous (and greedy?) rules, however you can buy everything else on Amazon within the apps without a problem. I fail to understand why you or anyone would have such difficulty buying items via the iOS apps when the process is almost identical to doing it via the website. You click the item, then click Buy Now (or Add to Basket), sign into your account if you haven't already and end with Place Order.

In addition, you clearly don't understand how the "30% Apple cut" works. Go and educate yourself. Here's a hint: Apple doesn't make $30 off $100 hedge trimmers sold via Amazon's iOS apps.

Furthermore, you seem to have somehow missed people frequently bitching about the usefulness and quality of apps on other platforms besides that of your beloved Microsoft. Strange.

Enron said,

Please tell me you're kidding.

I don't think he/she is; I think it's just ignorance.

Edited by Manish, Dec 3 2012, 1:08am :

Tweaky Nippleton said,

I say the same thing about these on the desktop Mac app store too. It's redundant and takes away from resources they could have put to making the site more usable instead.

This whole drive to make everything an app is getting out of hand and really just dumbs down the internet and hurts the web as a whole, because companies would rather make apps for their sites than make the site better.

Get over yourself already. The world does not revolve around you and your personal opinions.

Most if not all websites are less than pleasant to use with touch, Amazon being no exception. Small links, fiddle text boxes, etc. Therefore apps do, and always will, have a place in the Windows 8 store... despite your protestations to the contrary.

Were you abused by an app as a child or something?

Manish said,

Must you constantly talk out of your arse?

Yes you cannot purchase Kindle books on the iOS apps due to Apple's ridiculous (and greedy?) rules, however you can buy everything else on Amazon within the apps without a problem. I fail to understand why you or anyone would have such difficulty buying items via the iOS apps when the process is almost identical to doing it via the website. You click the item, then click Buy Now (or Add to Basket), sign into your account if you haven't already and end with Place Order.

In addition, you clearly don't understand how the "30% Apple cut" works. Go and educate yourself. Here's a hint: Apple doesn't make $30 off $100 hedge trimmers sold via Amazon's iOS apps.

Furthermore, you seem to have somehow missed people frequently bitching about the usefulness and quality of apps on other platforms besides that of your beloved Microsoft. Strange.


I don't think he/she is; I think it's just ignorance.

When I make a mistake, I am willing to admit to it - the actual checkout button in the Amazon app does not appear for everyone, it doesn't for me. The reviews for the app are littered with comments that the button does not appear for all people. So sorry for the confusion on that point.

However, Apple's policies are still a problem. You cannot buy and download music, books, etc. through the apps because Apple's guidelines do not allow it. You can only add to your wishlist. And with music, it is even more ridiculous because the way Amazon does it, you do not download music, it is added to your Amazon Cloud player then downloaded, but because of Apple's policies they need restrict purchases.

Microsoft a few months ago put out a Azure toolkit for developing apps for iOS. Then Apple started rejecting apps that use the toolkit because the signin page had a link to create an account in the app. While creating the account, there is a chance to buy additional SkyDrive storage, and because this purchase was in app, and not going through the Apple purchase system, the apps were being rejected. I know this one first hand - I did a little consulting over the summer for a friend's company and their iOS apps were rejected because of this. I think Microsoft may have had to change their code to work around this Apple limitation.

So I was incorrect, it appears to be a problem with Amazon's app, but there are still many places where Apple makes it harder to do things than it should be. I should be able to buy books from the Kindle app without needing to go to the web site. I should be able to allow users to use my app that contacts external services without Apple wanting to reject it because they are not getting their cut.

Here is a link about it:
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-18438_7-20070347-82.html#!;

Tweaky Nippleton said,
Really? People need an app to browse and shop on Amazon now? Are people really this retarded? Every app mentioned in the article is just the website in an app. You can't even use the excuse that it's to make it easier for mobile because this is the Windows 8 store, not the WP8 market. If you're sitting at your desktop, laptop or Win8 tablet then you have a browser. Are computer users this ****ing stupid these days?

Ok, besides all the pontificating of nonsense...

Why would you want an Amazon App on a Tablet or a Desktop? The Integrated Search features of Windows 8. (Again something NOBODY talks about, but is an important aspect of the Windows 8 interaction concepts.)

When you type in something to search for, you can click on almost any installed App, and it will do the Online search for you.

This way you can type in a product name, and click through Amazon, Bing, Newegg, EBay and search ALL of them in just a couple of clicks, INSTANTLY.

So even though the 'App' itself is just a glorified Web Site, the INTEGRATED SEARCH is the reason it exists and why it is important.

Windows 7 tried to push online search with Federated Search that extended the base local searching technology to online services. It lacked the ability for sites to control content, ads, etc, and even sites. Windows 8 comes back with an updated version of this concept, and now sites like Amazon can display their search results and Ads or format it however they want if they have an App that hooks into the Windows 8 search features.

Simple, solves all the concerns of online sites, and provides the user with a really brilliant way of browsing several sites and comparing items or referencing information in a just a few clicks.

This works if you were curious about Beyoncé as well, type in her name, click on Bing, News, Wikipedia, Music, Videos, Netflix and in 5 clicks you have reference anything about her online, any news on her, her complete Wikipedia information, all the songs and Albums she has made any Movies/TV she has been in, and also went to see if any were available on Netflix.


It is this type of 'usability' features of Windows 8 that are powerful and easy and another 'thing' that makes Windows 8 far more powerful than Windows 7, and far more than just a touch OS.

Jarrichvdv said,

That's not the point. Most of the time apps are more user-friendly on touch devices. Do you browse the full-fledged facebook site on a tablet? No, you'll most probably want to use the facebook app. That's the point why these apps exist and why I welcome each and every one of them.

..and they lack half of the features the website provides.

Tweaky Nippleton said,
Really? People need an app to browse and shop on Amazon now? Are people really this retarded?

Nope. Desktop sites aren't meant for touch, and nether was the Windows UI, so that's where Metro and Windows 8 Store come in. I think it's pointless to use the app if it doesn't provide any functionality outside of updated live tiles or notifications.

nohone said,

Nobody complained when these Web apps appeared on other stores, such as on the Apple store.

Uh, yeah they did. You must not have been paying attention.

As Tweaky pointed out, they did complain about those others stores, so there wasn't a need to turn this into one of your usual, "Everybody likes it when Apple does it, but when Microsoft does it..." rants. Stop acting as if Apple gets a free pass, while Microsoft is this poor victim. As I've said before. Your points would actually mean something if you can link to the person saying something to the contrary about a subject, but you don't, so why bring up what the anonymous people are supposedly saying?

nohone said,

This trend of "This App is useless" only started within the past few months, once they started appearing on the Windows store.

False. That trend started before people even knew Microsoft was working on an app store. I've seen many comments from people on this site who thought that applications on the Apps Store and Google Play were pointless because the mobile version of the site worked fine. I remember when people would bring up that they would like an iPad optimized Facebook app, and those request were met with, "What, is the browser broken or something?!" You know, like Lord Method Man's comment below this thread.


nohone said,

I didn't really need the link and I'm already aware of how silly Apple's policies can be at times (hence why I said "Apple's ridiculous rules" in my post). But hopefully you read it yourself as you certainly did not understand these rules before. Next time, it would be prudent to understand these matters beforehand, otherwise it just looks like idiotic trolling (at least, to me it does).