Microsoft to offer new Windows Store UI for Windows 8.1 Update

Microsoft will launch Windows 8.1 Update next week for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 PC users. Among its many changes will be yet another redesign of the Windows Store for downloading and purchasing Modern UI apps. The new storefront was demoed live during a session at this week's BUILD 2014 developer conference.

The session, available to watch on the Channel 9 website, showed how the Windows Store will now be set as default on the desktop taskbar in Windows 8.1 Update. When launching the store, the user will see a new mouse-friendly menu bar on top with drop down sub-categories for subjects like "Top Charts" "Collections" and more. The idea is that users will be able to quickly find which category they wish to read without having to click and flip through several pages in the store front.

Speaking of categories, a new one in the Windows Store for the update is Collection, which offers a list of apps created by human beings that are highly recommended for each app category. 

Finally, the Windows Store will show if a paid app is currently on sale by crossing out the original price and putting the new cost in red below it. The listing will even show how long the app will remain at that reduced price. All of these changes should go live when Windows 8.1 Update is released on April 8th.

Source: Channel 9 via McAkins Online | Images via Microsoft

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The collections are great but the UI looks terrible. And as you can see in the demo of the new UI it doesn't work better with the mouse. The new title bar does overlap the new menu on top when you reach the upper edge accidentally. That's actually much worse than how it works now: you can right-click *anywhere* on your screen and get a huge menu of every category.

It is really sad to see how they ruin the simplicity of Windows 8 instead of making it actually better in a smart way.

I have the update installed already with official release iso's from MSDN/TechNet. There is no reason to wait for the files to appear on windows update if someone has them already.

Exactly, these implementations will be done server side. So as stated earlier, on April 8th, it'll be enabled for everyone who has Update 1 installed.

j3r3my1976 said,
people who installed the update 1 files before release should of waited for official update

I did wait. :) But mostly because of a full time job and a 2.5 year old! I just don't have the time to muss with the possible tweakage. Now back in the middle 90's - early 2000 I would have torn into it with utter abandon, staying up till dawn to make it work!

Edited by xrobwx, Apr 6 2014, 1:21pm :

This just adds to the idea of having apps work across devices with little work on the developers side, the store is still an app like any other. Load it on a touch device or a smartphone and it'll load the touch UI we all know. Now though if you load it on a PC without touch or with a kb+mouse detected then it'll load the 2nd UI.

It's the same idea they talk about when they talked about universal apps, you can have one UI that scales if you wanted, because winrt apps are very good at doing this already compared to old GDI desktop apps. Or you can have 2 UIs set depending on the device, the easy example would be one for phone and one for bigger tablet but the same applies for touch and non-touch.

zrlan7710 said,
That's stupid. Inefficient. Bloated. No way.

Having a different UI layout with vector graphics that scale is hardly inefficient or adding bloat. They're already doing this with IE, metro IE and desktop IE share lots of code while they have different UIs.

Speaking of categories, a new one in the Windows Store for the update is Collection, which offers a list of apps created by human beings that are highly recommended for each app category.

Why specify that the apps are made by human beings? Is there some AI developing and uploading apps to the Store or something?

I don't know I thnk it means the list is made by humans! Maybe so it won't be fake-ish recommendations based on rating or else

i_was_here said,

Why specify that the apps are made by human beings? Is there some AI developing and uploading apps to the Store or something?

I bet what he meant was that the list is maintained by human beings and not auto-generated

Devel0per95 said,
thats what i want <3

there only one thing :
i wich that microsoft will make cortana available for windows 8.1 computers :D

^ This, definitely.

It sure is great to see MS this agile again..
If they keep this pace or increase it, they could end up on Top, in the Mobile space

dingl_ said,
It sure is great to see MS this agile again..
If they keep this pace or increase it, they could end up on Top, in the Mobile space

I don't think that's likely to happen. It'll be a win for them if they can grab 15% market share in mobile phones. However, I think they have a great chance at grabbing a larger market share in tablets, potentially 40-50%.

anothercookie said,
Yeah I don't see phones really taking off, tablets maybe since they are real computers, and android tablets just kind of suck.

Phones will be a hard market to tap into, everyone has their preferences and to be honest, all the platforms are decent. Android tablets are horrible, even the high end ones so that's one place where Microsoft can really take a foothold. And Microsoft are offering something in that space that no one else is, a full computing device.

It'll be great to see how these next few years pan out.

scorpian007 said,

I don't think that's likely to happen. It'll be a win for them if they can grab 15% market share in mobile phones. However, I think they have a great chance at grabbing a larger market share in tablets, potentially 40-50%.

I will most certainly buy a windows phone, and ditch my crappy and boring iPhone 4.. Windows phone 8.1 looks awesome. And I couldn't care less about apps, these last years my iPhone only has had 4 google and Microsoft apps installed.

Wall-swe said,

And I couldn't care less about apps, these last years my iPhone only has had 4 google and Microsoft apps installed.

Yeah, I'm not a very heavy app user so the whole app thing doesn't bother me too much (I mainly use Facebook, 6snap and 6tag). I just love the Windows 8.1 integration. My biggest dilemma at the moment is deciding whether to get the 1520 or wait for the 930

Edited by scorpian007, Apr 6 2014, 9:05am :

scorpian007 said,

I don't think that's likely to happen. It'll be a win for them if they can grab 15% market share in mobile phones. However, I think they have a great chance at grabbing a larger market share in tablets, potentially 40-50%.


I think they could certainly win more of the phone market... But Microsoft's strength is in their ability to target and support all of the major platforms...