Microsoft adds lists of Windows 8.1 app categories in new store update

Microsoft would certainly like to see more people check out the apps that are available in the Windows Store. The company is making progress on this front; for example, a few weeks ago it confirmed that paid game downloads in November went up 34 percent in the store compared to a year ago.

This week, the company made a quiet update to the store front's interface that should make finding new apps faster. As spotted first by McAkins Online, the Windows Store now has a list of all of the main app categories on the front page. Previously you either had to view the categories by moving the store screen from left to right to see each one (a time consuming task) or by right-clicking to see a list. This new solution eliminates those problems.

In addition, each app category now has a list of all of its sub-categories when you go to each page in the Windows Store. For example, Games now has a quick list of all of the different types of apps that one can download and/or purchase from the store.

Microsoft made these small but rather significant changes to the Windows Store on their servers so Windows 8.1 users don't need to download a software update. We wouldn't be surprised if this tweak to the store's UI made a positive difference in free and paid downloads.

Source: McAkins Online | Images via Microsoft

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21 Comments

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I still find the app store a mess. Reasons?
1) "Picks for you"?? Waste of space. I disabled it and it comes back every time
2) "Trending"?? What is that supposed to mean?
3) "New and emerging"? What is that supposed to mean, too?
4) Each time I open the app store it does not immediately update the lists. I have to wait for a while until it does. Great way for people to miss the new apps
5) When a new app comes out and i read about it on a website, it is NEVER in the first 10 new apps in the store!! I have to search for it to find it. Something must be wrong.


So, why not make it simple? Just show me:
1) Featured
2) New
2) Top last 10 days
4) Top all time

..and update it more often!

..and clean the store from the hundreds and thousands of rubbish apps!

Why wasn't this available from the beginning? Why has it taken this long to implement this simple and obvious way to make the store more user-friendly and usable? Typical of Win8 UI team, unfortunately.

gb8080 said,
Why wasn't this available from the beginning? Why has it taken this long to implement this simple and obvious way to make the store more user-friendly and usable? Typical of Win8 UI team, unfortunately.

The Win8 App teams have been horrible. However, this functionality has been there, but wasn't easy to find as it didn't make sense.

gb8080 said,
Why wasn't this available from the beginning? Why has it taken this long to implement this simple and obvious way to make the store more user-friendly and usable? Typical of Win8 UI team, unfortunately.

Agree. I'd also like to see detailed change logs and a date for each app update, with each review mentioning clearly which version was used. Is that so difficult to enforce and include?

Moreover I'd like to see a merged view for all reviews of an app in the same language (i.e. show the reviews for the same app on en-us, en-gb, en-au etc. together). Or they can even merge all reviews together and have a language filter, with the user's current display language selected by default.

Hey Microsoft here is a pro tip: test UI changes in multiple languages! The text on that list doesn't fit there in the German version. Quality control at its best...

small change, big impact. having to right click/swipe down just to see the categories was tedious and made it a chore to casually browse through the store.

7Dash8 said,
I've looked under the "my PC is not a phone or tablet so I don't need apps" category.

I saw that one, it was right under the category for people stuck in the 80s or 90s. There are some nice CLI Apps in case you can't find the desktop.

I can find the desktop alright. That's why I don't need rinky dink apps

Also, I didn't realize that not wanting fullscreen de-powered versions of programs made me stuck in the 80s or 90s.

I don't need apps so I won't use them, but Microsoft won't be happy, because they grafted the Metro interface and Microsoft Store into Windows 8/8.1 just hoping they could get me to waste my time and money on them.

Where is the "I have absolutely no idea how to effectively make use of the metro/modern design language" category?